Arts & Life, Events

The living celebrate the dead

The Southwest Terrace of the University Student Union was filled with students enjoying the musical atmosphere and Mexican food of the Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead festivities hosted by Beach Pride Events last Thursday.

Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican holiday that is celebrated in Central and South America  by people of Mexican descent. The purpose is to remember loved ones who have died through singing, dancing and art as well as setting up an altar with food and treats for the dead.

Adriana Medina, Beach Pride Events program assistant and Sabrina Ware, Beach Pride Events coordinator, were in charge of organizing the event. One of the goals behind the celebration was to inform students about the holiday.

“We really wanted students to walk away with more knowledge about the culture and history behind this celebration,” Medina said.

Students were allowed to enjoy free tacos from MCP Catering as well as show their creative side by painting sugar skulls and small wooden frames that are put on ofrendas, ritual displays, made to commemorate the lives of friends or family on Day of the Dead.

There were also performances from Grupo Folklorico Mexica de CSULB with dancers moving to the beat of folklorico style music.

Second-year Larisa Simmons, a healthcare administrations major, stumbled on the event after one of her classes was cancelled and she wanted to get free tacos.

“I usually try to go to these events because they’re good for the campus,” Simmons said. ”[The events] really could connect people and they’re fun and a good way to pass time.”

Third year chemistry major Martin Andrade noted the cultural importance of the celebration in his own home.

“I’m Mexican and I thought it would be cool to check out since I always celebrated it at home too,” Andrade said. “My favorite part would have to be the music, food and art. We celebrate it at home every year and go all out with the food and decorations.”

While the event typically generates an attendance of over 100 students, there were 291 students at this year’s Dia de los Muertos celebration.

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