Sixth-graders celebrate Dia de los Muertos
By staff writer Waverley Achacoso
P6 is the homeroom of sixth-grader Dominic Fleming. His family celebrates Dia De Los Muertos. Every year, his mom comes into his homeroom class around October and talks about this holiday. Dominic’s class learns how to decorate sugar skulls, and the class makes an altar with pictures and other things that represent family or friends who have passed away.
“This is your opportunity to honor friends and family who have made an impression on you in some way,” says Dominic’s mom. “It could be a picture, their favorite food, or any other item that will let them know you remember them fondly. These items help them find their way back to their living loved ones.”
Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday on November 1st (All Souls Day and All Saints Day in the Catholic Calendar). It is strongly associated with Mexico because that’s where the tradition originated.
Dia De Los Muertos honors people who have passed away with celebrations and festivals. The people of Mexico thought that the dead would be insulted by the mourning and sadness. So they celebrated the dead with food, drink, and parties that the dead celebrated while they were alive. On Dia De Los Muertos, the dead are “awakened from their sleep” and celebrate with their loved ones.
Ever since Dominic’s mom came in to design the altar and help with the crafting of the sugar skulls, P6’s Dia De Los Muertos altar has been filling
up with memories of family and friends who have passed away. Teacher Lori Oducayen sixth-grade class was also welcome to put memories on P6’s altar. In fact, Mrs. Oducayen herself placed a picture of her dad, who passed away last spring.
Although there is not enough room to put all of Bay Farm School’s memories on the altar, it is a good way to remember the people we love and miss. P6 is lucky to have Dominic’s mom come in to do these things.
“One of my favorite things about my job is having parents with special skills and passions come to our room and share. Because this is not a holiday that I regularly celebrate, I would never have been able to do this for my students,” said P6 teacher Joni Reynolds. “Having the opportunity to honor my grandma Ruby by placing her recipe for her famous blue cheese dressing on the altar was a wonderful way to honor her memory.”
Whoever is in Dominic’s homeroom class in seventh grade will be looking forward to crafting sugar skulls and designing an altar.