As our first 6 week session of spanish with the homeschooling group came to an end, we celebrated with an old Mexican tradition which happens around this time; Dia de los muertos, and while I am no expert on this celebration, this was in fact my first time hearing of it, I love the feeling of it. It is an old Aztec tradition, and unlike so many of us westerners the latin cultures tends to view death not as something frightening but as a transition, a passing to the spirit world, yet still very much present and especially so during the celebration of this festival. Skulls are used to symbolize death and rebirth, and to honor the dead. And bright marigold flowers to attract their spirits. Their favorite food is made, and a general honoring and celebration of their spirit takes place.
We made an alter, and each family brought a picture or reminder of a passed loved one and told the group about them. We were also told about this wonderful celebration and where it came from
after this we went outside where the children made skull and marigold necklaces and painted skull and butterfly masks. Each family also brought a dish to share that was a favorite of the loved one they were remembering
The skulls were made from salt dough (1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, about half cup water and baked for an hour, and pierced for a necklace, and painted)
The marigolds were made from tissue paper, 6 almost circles, three larger (about 2 inches) and three smaller. Then a string was pulled through and tied, to the back a bead was tied so the children could string them onto their necklace . Then the center circle was crumbled around the knot creating the center of the flower, and the rest of the circles gentle crumbled around.
Paper plates were used to create the skull and butterfly masks, which the children then colored and added a string to
and the potluck meal was filled with lovely favorites.
A really sweet celebration
~honoring the children's great grandfather Caco~