Día de los Muertos at South High School

This altar is dedicated to a lost family member

Soni Blair, Journalist

Day of the Dead is a special holiday, mostly celebrated in Mexico and other versions in other South American countries, where family members come together in order to celebrate the lives of their deceased family members. Day of the dead consists of many bright colors in the form of decorations and fauna while large tables called alters are made in order to commemorate the family’s lost relatives. On this altar, pictures, a favorite food of their relatives, flowers, brightly colored decorations, candles, and sugar skulls are put on in order to show respect for their ancestors and to dedicate this day to them specifically. 

Our Spanish program, this year, made altars that were dedicated to a lost family member. Approximately 6 or 7 classes made altars making that a grand total of around 40-50 altars. This day is very significant in the South community because of how many students celebrate this tradition at home regularly and how diverse of a community we are. 

All of these altars are made out of shoe boxes or boxes in that size proximity, with tissue paper for bright colors, skulls and candles for traditional reasons, flowers in order to give life to the altar, and other small items that dedicate the altar specifically to that person (food or small items that used to belong to them or represent them). 

Many students also dedicated their altars to famous personas, some being Stan Lee, Micheal Jackson, Fredy Mercury while others dedicated it to their pets who have passed on. As an example, I personally dedicated my altar to my grandfather where I decorated it with traditional colors and figures from the Mexican culture, yet I also added personal entities of my grandfather that represented him and his interests: a doctor coat because that was his occupation, rice and black tea bags because he loved those two foods, an elephant because he was Indian, a guitar because he enjoyed Indian music and some photos of him and my family because of traditional reasons with a Day of the Dead altar.  

Day of the Dead is a day dedicated to lost family members or people in the public eye that were loved by so many. This tradition still lives on because of how personal it is to many and how it represents a day of potentially reuniting with that one family member that you loved. 

Some examples of the work students have done is exhibited above.