As part of the Spanish curriculum, Señora Garzon, Señora Villalobos, and Señora Sampedro will lead the children in a short assembly introducing the Mexican celebration of “Día de Los Muertos” or Day of the Dead on Friday, November 1st at 9 am, please come and enjoy the children’s songs and poetry in honor to our loved ones.
More than 500 years ago, when Spanish conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they encountered the native people celebrating a ritual that honored the dead. It had been practiced for at least 3000 years. Originally celebrated by the Aztec for a full month, Spanish priests co-opted and moved it to the Feast of All Souls, November 1. That date had been established when Roman priests adopted Samhain, the November 1 celebration of the dead by the Celtic peoples of Britain and Gaul – giving rise to All Souls and Halloween.
While the celebration of All Souls can be a sad occasion in many countries, in Mexico, it is a joyous remembrance of the departed. Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the Aztec and other Meso-American peoples viewed death as a continuation of life. Life was a dream, and only in death did they become truly awake.
In Mexico, people visit the cemetery and decorate the gravesite with marigold flowers and candles. They bring toys for the children. They sit on picnic blankets and eat the favorite foods of their loved ones.
Your children are invited to bring a photo or memento on a frame of a loved one who has died. Please bring these by Wednesday, October 23rd, and ask your children to give them to their class teacher. They will be displayed along with flowers on our Altar. In Spanish classes, they’ll have stories, make masks, paper flowers, and perforated paper decorations, all according to their ages and similarly to how this is done in Mexico.
Parents are welcome to visit the altar after school hours or on Mondays after drop off at 9:00 am. The Altar will be on display until the first week of November.
Please email any questions to Señora Garzon at firstname.lastname@example.org.