Day of Dead Celebration attracts large appreciative crowd
Sugar skulls, music and dancing, butterflies, and food were included in the Day of the Dead Celebration on November 1, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alamosa, Colo., hosted by the Adams State University Spanish Program and Spanish Club, El Parnaso.
According to Dr. Eva Rayas Solís, Spanish professor, El Parnaso, formed in 1928, has organized a type of celebration to commemorate the Day of the Dead for the last fifteen years.
"It began from being a small display of "Ofrendas" or "Altares" and decorations on the hall outside of the Foreign Language faculty offices. The last four years we collaborated with the Catholic Church, who allows the use of their stage and gymnasium," Rayas Solís said.
The Day of the Dead, an important traditional celebration in Latin America, has its origin in the native cultures of Mesoamerica: Aztec and Mayan. "November the second is the culmination of weeks of preparations to honor our ancestors, remember them, and celebrate their lives and the love we shared," Rayas Solís said. "The date, deeply related to life, marks the end of the harvest and the renewal of the circle of life, symbolically viewed in the return of the Monarch butterflies to sanctuaries."
Approximately 360 people attended the traditional experience. "It is very important to celebrate as they do in Latin America," Rayas Solís said.
This year the celebration offered a number of activities for families attending including sugar skulls decoration, coloring of masks and figures, paper flowers making, butterflies dedication wall, tattoos, photo station, and face painting.
Mole, tamales, tacos, rice and beans with traditional Day of the Dead special bread, were served and two folkloric groups, Semillas de la Tierra, directed by Domingo Estrada; and Joyas de Mexico, directed by Manuel Montaño; performed traditional dances
"Paradoxically the Day of the Dead celebration is a colorful party," Rayas Solís added. "The students and I were very excited with the turn-out and appreciate the support of the community for this wonderful event."