The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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M.E.Ch.A. event designed to remember the dead

Despite obstacles created by the decisions of the Associated Students finance committee, M.E.Ch.A. will go forward with the annual celebration “Day of the Dead.”

Today is the date designated to remember the kids and infants who have passed away, and Nov. 2 is believed to be the day when the adult loved ones who have passed away return to life to visit their families.

Alisandra Vasquez, organizer of the Dia de los Muertos celebration at CSUN, said the importance of this celebration rests in the fact that it gives a sense of community to CSUN students and is an event through which students can share this colorful tradition with their families.

“It has helped me shape my sense of identity and culture,” Vasquez said.

Alexis Montoya, child development major, explained that Day of the Dead revelers see death in a very different way.

She explained that it is important to keep this tradition alive since the event tells us not to be afraid of death. In fact, Mexicans embrace it with humor and color.

Alberto Perez, Chicano/a studies major, said the celebration brings awareness about the culture.

“Death is an inevitable part of life and that’s why we live it,” Perez said.

In Mexico, altars with flowers, food, belongings and pictures of the ones who passed are arranged along with candles. The candles are lit for guidance. For the dead infants, toys and candy are placed around the baby’s picture. In some parts of Mexico, people even have the celebration in cemeteries with live music and food.

The tradition of “Dia de los Muertos” is also experienced outside of the home, as schools in Mexico have students take part in the day’s tradition. Kids create elaborate skeletons made of colorful paper and short pieces of poetry as offerings to the dead.

The history of the tradition goes back more than 500 years ago to when the Spaniards conquered Mexico. Indigenous people practiced rituals in which, instead of fearing death, they embraced it. They even made fun of it.

The Spaniards attempted to end this practice but could not and instead they Christianized it and called it All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

The annual celebration of the day will begin with a procession from Jerome Richfeld Hall to the Chicano/a House at 6 p.m., and will end at midnight Nov. 3. There will be live entertainment by Mariachi Aztlan, Mujeres de Maiz and Rayos de Sol, as well as Danza Mexica Cuautemoct, performances by Very Be Careful and Viernes 13, and food and free face painting.

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