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Celebration of "Día de Los Muertos" (Day of the Dead)


At BFA we like to preserve the traditions that have been part of the Mexican culture, a culture from which most of us find our roots.

"Día de Muertos" or Day of the Dead is a very important tradition in Mexico that is celebrated on November 2nd . The origin of this tradition might be twofold: religion and pre-Hispanic roots.

From the religious point of view, Día de Muertos is a day to remember our beloved ones that have pasted away. The tradition is to decorate an “altar” or table in remembrance of the people being honored. The “altar” is decorated with candles, Xempaxuchitl (Aztec word for the yellow marigold flower) and “ofrendas” or gifts of food such as “Pan de Muerto” (a sort of sweet dough bread), and traditional dishes like “mole”, “pozole”, tamales, fruit, etc. The altar will have pictures of the beloved family members that are remembered as well as some religious images of saints. The tradition says that the soul of the person guided by the light of the candles will come that night and eat his or her favorite food. You will know that the soul was there if the food has no scent or flavor the next day.


From the pre-Hispanic point of view, this tradition also finds its roots in the Aztec culture to thank the gods for a good harvest, which regularly happened at the end of October.

Another important aspect of this tradition is its humoristic part. Despite the concept of “death” is in many times taken with respect and seriousness, Mexican tradition welcomes death as a "part of life" and brings a touch of humor that you will not see in other cultures.

“La calaca” (the skeleton), or “la flaca” (the “skinny”) among other slang denominations are commonly used to refer to the death. The different names are used in short light-humor verses or rhymes that describe the key characteristics (usually more weaknesses than strengths) of a person and how he or she is taken away by “la flaca.” The purpose of these rhymes is to make people laugh and somehow, forget the fear about death.

Visit our Last Events section and take a look at the pictures of

our performance on Día de los Muertos at the Chicano House, CSUN!

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Last modified: 03/23/07