Celebrating the Day of the Dead: A look at the recent Spanish Club meeting

Spanish Club strives to educate its members on the Spanish language and culture surrounding Spanish in fun and memorable way. Its annual Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) meeting was no different.

This year’s meeting explored the activities used to celebrate the Mexican holiday through six stations on Oct. 31, which is the first day of the holiday.

“Members engaged in activities similar to how people celebrating in Mexico would prepare for the holiday,” sophomore and Spanish Club officer Kirti Chopra said.

The Day of the Dead is often described as a celebration of life, and the activities tried to recreate that feeling in a school environment.

"The officers of the club wanted everyone to leave the event with newfound knowledge about the Day of the Dead, and to have fun while doing it,” Chopra said.

Even though the meeting focused on activities surrounding the holiday, not purely educating, the meaning of the holiday was not lost for Spanish Club members.

Sophomore and Spanish Club member Mudra Patel said that at the meeting she learned a lot about the holiday, like “why it's celebrated and the importance behind it.”

The stations at the meeting consisted mostly of making different items that would be put on a traditional ofrenda - an offering (typically on an altar) to those who have died.

An ofrenda is typically set up on a table with candles, flowers and images of saints on top of it, according to Inside Mexico.

One activity that was very popular was the papel picado station. Papel picado is a type of Mexican folk art involving cutting designs onto tissue paper, typically with symbols relating to the Day of the Dead. This was done to mimic something that is also part of a traditional ofrenda.

“The activities were focused on the traditions and preparations surrounding the Day of the Dead,” Chopra said. “We looked for activities we could replicate with the group to accurately depict what occurs on that day.”

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