Arts & Life, Events

ASI hosts Día de los Muertos celebration to commemorate the dead

Although the topic of death can be somber for many, Beach Pride Events’ spirited Día de los Muertos commemoration welcomed students to celebrate the legacies of their deceased loved ones.

The event occurred on Monday which marked the first day of the Día de los Muertos holiday. ASI’s celebration included live music, free tamales with different fillings, an altar for students to place marigold flowers on as well as an arts and crafts station where students could create their own picture frames for their deceased members’ photographs.

After verifying their student identification, CSULB students are given marigold flowers and tamales to celebrate the festivities.
After verifying their student identification, CSULB students are given marigold flowers and tamales to celebrate the festivities. Photo credit: Sam Farfan

After the death of a relative, family members typically display their legacy through vibrant altars, also known as ofrendas, during the holidays.

Oftentimes, they are decorated to represent the lives they lived using their images, personal belongings, favorite foods and beverages displayed throughout the “ofrendas” as a way to memorialize them.

As one of the main coordinators for the event, Beach Pride Program assistant Jannet Cordova has grown up seeing the cultural importance of the holiday as her mom would often create ofrendas during her childhood. For the holiday, she wants to celebrate her loved ones who have recently passed away.

“I think it’s a beautiful holiday to honor everyone who has passed away, and just keeping their memories alive,” she said. “Specifically my grandpa who passed away two years ago and also my dog who passed away this year.”

As the members of the Los Tres band played live Latin music, students danced while bonding over their shared appreciation for the Mexican holiday and culture.

The latin band, Los Tres, play at their second Dia de los Muertos event on campus with covers like "Escandalo", "Juana la Cubana" and "Corazon Espinado".
The latin band, Los Tres, play at their second Dia de los Muertos event on campus with covers like "Escandalo", "Juana la Cubana" and "Corazon Espinado". Photo credit: Sam Farfan

In the spirit of remembrance, second-year student and event attendee Sophia Cuevas has relatives of her own that she memorializes on this holiday.

“Today, I’d like to honor my grandma that passed away five years ago, and my grandpa as well,” Cuevas said. “Right now I’m thinking about them, you know? So being here, it’s like I’m connected to them, even though they’re physically not present.”

In traditional Mexican culture, death is seen as an inevitable yet integral part of the circle of life. Although the mourning of a deceased loved one is often accompanied by grief, Dia de los Muertos is a reminder to honor and respect the lives they lived by cheerfully celebrating their memory with the support of a united community.

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