MISS to host event for “Day of the dead”

The Multicultural and International Student Services will be hosting “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” this Friday, Oct. 30, in the mall area of the Lowman Student Center. The event will take place from 11-1 p.m. Giveaways will include Diversity Week shirts, and Aramark will be catering the event. Sweet bread, a traditional food made throughout the holiday, along with churros and hot chocolate, will be served.

“Culturally, we just want students to be able to experience something that they have probably never been through before,” Donielle Miller, Multicultural and International student Services Coordinator, said “We want to let students be able to celebrate something that maybe they never have before.”

Students will also have a chance to decorate skull masks with a variety of arts and crafts.

Dia de los Muertos, also known as “All Souls Day” is a Mexican holiday celebrated by the gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. Of course, bearing in mind the name and the agenda of the day most would think “what a sad holiday: sitting around crying about people that have died? Why would I want to do that?”

However, the Day of the Dead is anything but sad and tragic. The word “celebration” is a better fit. Those who honor the day see it as a celebration of life and death, and a time for the spirits of the deceased to come back and visit their families. Food is made, families are together, and there is tradition throughout the day.

Part of the tradition is the food and other special items that are made just for the deceased. One is an “ofrenda” or altar, made in the family’s home. A picture of the deceased, along with prayer candles, copal, which is incense said to clear the way for the spirit’s return, and other items are placed in the altar. Sugar skulls are another one of the bigger traditions that take place during this holiday. Made from a sugar paste, these candies are decorated with icing and glitter, and either placed on the home-made altar, or eaten by the family. The meaning behind the sugar base is to represent the “sweetness” of life, while the actual skull form is to represent the sorrow of death.

So come out and celebrate this Mexican tradition, and the lives of your loved ones, with other students at Sam Houston. For more information, please visit http://www.shsu.edu/studentactivities

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