Dead bread, sugar skulls, music, and more filled the SU piano lounge on Nov. 2 for Hispanic Organization Leading Akron’s, or H.O.L.A.’s, display of El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead).
Four separate tables were set up to present the event’s activities and food. On the first table, students were welcomed to color their own sugar skull mask to hang up around the table. After coloring a skull, students were able to put their name in a raffle for a Chipotle gift card.
Student and H.O.L.A. member Nancy Cabrera said she enjoyed setting up the event, learning about Day of the Dead, and coloring a sugar skull.
“It was nice to hear an actual Mexican native talk about her experience with Día de los Muertos, and talk about how her family and the whole country honor the dead through this tradition,” Cabrera said.
On the second table, Hispanic music was playing while a table disco ball was shining colorful lights on the attendees.
University of Akron freshman Hinmer Valasquez said, “I am from El Salvador and I really enjoyed hearing the Hispanic music because I haven’t listened to it in forever.”
An altar to represent and respect the dead was displayed on the third table. On the altar, there were pictures of the dead, sugar skulls, flowers, rice, fruit, candles and pan muerto or “dead bread.”
On the table, a description card explained the significance of the altar: “El Día de Los Muertos is a day to celebrate, remember, and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. On this day, we pay tribute to this Mexican holiday displaying an altar filled with decorations and offerings, which may consist of photographs, bread, flowers, toys, incense, salt, fresh fruit, water, other drinks, images of saints, decorative pieces of cut paper, and other symbolic items.”
On the fourth table, H.O.L.A. provided a taco bar and drinks to serve any students and faculty who passed by the event.
H.O.L.A. is a student organization on campus that works on representing Hispanic students on campus, and educating people about the Hispanic traditions and culture.
President of H.O.L.A. Diana Muñoz said she hopes The Day of the Dead event educated students and made them aware of this Mexican tradition. She also hopes to accommodate Hispanic students through the organization.
On Nov. 1 and 2, The Day of Dead is celebrated to remember, celebrate, and honor the loved ones who have departed. This holiday is celebrated in central and southern Mexico, and also in southern California. Those who celebrate The Day of the Dead believe that the gates of heaven open on Nov. 1 at midnight. On this night, they believe all of the deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for the whole day. Then on Nov. 2, adult spirits come down to enjoy the festivities that were prepared for them by their family members and loved ones.