UC Merced celebrates Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead celebration

On Nov. 2, UC Merced celebrated Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The celebration, organized by the Office of Student Life, featured a shrine outside The Lantern where people could remember loved ones, as well as folk dancers Aguilas de Oro. Generally, Dia de los Muertos festivities include families welcoming their dead back into their homes and visiting the graves of their close kin. At the cemetery, family members spruce up gravesites with flowers. They socialize with other families gathering there, remember the departed by telling stories about them, and have elaborate picnics with such foods as meat dishes in spicy sauces, chocolate beverages, cookies, sugary confections in a variety of animal or skull shapes, and a special egg-batter bread called "pan de muerto," or bread of the dead. Typical flowers for graves include marigolds and chrysanthemums, and other decorations might include religious amulets. Dia de los Muertos is a way of recognizing the cycle of life and death that is human existence.