Día de los Muertos

First paper cutouts, now dough…you must think I’ve forgotten how to draw.

PanDeMuertos

Today is All Saints Day, also known as Día de los Muertos in Latin American countries. For the last several years our homeschooling Spanish class has celebrated this day together. We set up a table and decorate it with autumn flowers and leaves, papel picado, and photographs and mementos of those who have crossed over (parents, grandparents, pets, anyone beloved). My daughter and I bake a huge anise-flavored Pan de Muerto—a skull surrounded by bones. The mother who teaches Spanish reads aloud a story about the day, written from a child’s point of view. We all sing “Hasta los Muertos Salen a Bailar” (“Even the Dead are Rising Up to Dance”) which is a really hard song to stop singing all day long once you’ve sung a few rounds. Then each family comes to the table, lights a candle, and says a few words about their loved ones, and the festival concludes with a skull-and-bones snack. Although the children devour the bread with enthusiasm, I think they actually appreciate the entire event, especially as each year brings more shared losses into our lives.

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