Day of the Dead Essay Page

Spanish II used the discussion area above to submit their dia de los muertos essays. I made suggestions on the first essay. Their second post should contain those corrections. As always, some students made the necessary corrections and some did not. They copied their second essay, printed it out, attached a rubric, and I graded them based on the rubric. Hence, I did not reply to the second essays in the discussion area. If any of the students would like to highlight their essay, they may edit this page and place it below M. Cook's essay. Thanks Sr. Bishop

M. Cook did a great job on the Day of the Dead Essay. Check it out below!

Did you know there is a holiday to celebrate the dead? Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday. Often confused with Halloween, Dia de los Muertos means “Day of the Dead”, and is actually a celebration to honor the dead. During this celebration, family and friends do different things to commemorate and honor their deceased loved ones. This holiday has gone through some changes in the past, but many of the traditions are still around today.

In ancient times, the Aztecs celebrated a holiday similar to the Day of the Dead. Preparations often began about two weeks before and celebrations lasted around two months. When the Spanish conquistadors came into Mexico, they thought it was an awful pagan holiday and therefore banned it. However, the people loved it so much that the Spanish made it a Catholic holiday and shortened the celebration to two days to keep it around. At sundown on October 31st they begin their celebration to honor the children who have died. The next day’s celebrations are to honor the adults who have died.

People celebrate in many ways, with singing, dancing, and music. One of the most common ways they celebrate is by creating shrines to honor the people that have died. In these shrines they include candles, pictures of the person who died, food, some religious items, as well as items that belonged to that person when they were alive. The people who create the shrines also clean and decorate the dead person’s grave.

Over the years, different traditions and symbols have emerged that bring the holiday to mind. One thing is the making and decorating of sugar skulls. They are usually decorated with bright colors. Another widely known symbol are the skeleton drawings first drawn by Jose Guadalupe Posada as political cartoons. The most famous of his
drawings is La Catrina, one of the Mexican president’s wife. She is pictured as a skeleton wearing lavish outfits because she was known to spend a lot of money on clothes while her people suffered.

Dia de los Muertos is a very important Mexican holiday. It is celebrated by many people and has been for many hundreds of years. With its many traditions, it is a very interesting holiday to learn about.