The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Stan State Hosts Day of the Dead Altar


Altar en casa de Jocelyn Chávez, que reside en la Cuidad de México. Creditos a (Jocely Chávez). 

El Día de Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a tradition that is deeply rooted in Mexican culture. To paint a picture, the Disney movie “COCO” is a great representation of the traditions that surround this specific day and the importance behind it. 

On Day of the Dead people gather to celebrate the memory of family members, as well as pets that were considered family, who have passed away. People who celebrate the day spoke of what the day meant to them and why it’s a celebration of life rather than a grievance period.

In this tradition, people typically get together and visit the gravesites of their loved ones.

Nina Galarza, a vendor at the Turlock Flea Market who is originally from Ciudad Juarez, explained Day of the Dead is a day to, “celebrate what comes after life, and helps maintain their spirit alive by remembering them.”

Alejandra Garcia, a fruit stand owner at the market is originally from Michoacan, Mexico also celebrates the day. 

“It is a day in which one goes to visit the deceased at the gravesite and listens to the church mass held there in order to bring them eternal peace,” she said.

When it comes to food, something special that many like to do is cook and prepare small portions of their loved ones favorite food. The food is then placed on the altar as part of the ofrenda or offering. 

Laura Paz-Huerta, administrative support coordinator , is partnering with Club Interlatinxs to put up a community altar on campus incorporated with Oaxacan culture. She hopes the display will bring appreciation to the culture while allowing everyone to have a space to remember their deceased loved ones. 

“We always try to provide water and incense,” Paz-Huerta said. “We have a designated table for pictures of our deceased loved ones, but when it comes to El Dia de los Muertos that’s when we add the other elements.” 

In this tradition, altares don’t have a specific way of looking, they can be small or they can be big as long as they have specific elements, loved ones will find their way. These elements include; water, candles, papel picado (paper cut out with shapes), cempasuchil flower petals, white flowers, lavender, yellow flowers, purple flowers, alebrijes or spirit guides, pan de muerto, sugar skulls, and pictures of your deceased loved ones. 

If you want to check out the community altar at Stan State, it will be located in the Library L201 from October 31st to November 2nd.

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Stan State Hosts Day of the Dead Altar