By: Meridian 4th Graders
We learned a lot when we celebrated Día de los Muertos here at Meridian. Día de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday where you remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones that died. For true authenticity, you’re actually supposed to go to the cemetery in a procession, decorate the graves, and be there all night!
Last Friday we had our own procession and brought offerings (fruit, candles, flowers) to the altar in the front of our gym. The altar had pictures of lost loved ones like family members, friends, and pets.
We decorated monarchs with pictures of our lost loved ones and put them all over the gym. We thought there would be stars to decorate, but instead we used butterflies. They represent the monarch butterflies that fly over Mexico. Some people believe when you die you become a monarch, and they are souls of the lost returning home.
There was special bread there called Pan de Muertos that you have during the celebration. It has bone shaped pieces to represent and honor the dead. It was really good! There was also copal (tree resin) which is like incense but isn’t bad for you. The flowers on the alter were marigolds (cempasúchi in Spanish), because they’re supposed to guide the dead to the celebration.
The music during the event was surprising. It was kind of sad, kind of happy, and sort of bittersweet.
We want people to know that Día de los Muertos is not a scary holiday (even though the name can be scary for some people). It’s important to remember loved ones and to experience different ways of celebrating their lives.