Raíces Unidas, the Hispanic and Latinx club, hosts Dia de los Muertos Fiesta
On Nov. 5, 2019, Raíces Unidas, the Hispanic and Latinx club, hosted a Dia de los Muertos Fiesta in the Student Union Courtyard. The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated by people of the heritage and the culture. It is in memory and prayer for family and friends that have passed. For those unbeknownst of this holiday, the Disney movie ‘Coco’ is a good representation of the celebration, for an animation that is. The Day of the Dead is celebrated to support one’s deceased family through the spiritual journey of death.
To educate about the cultural significance of the holiday, Raices Unidas provided many activities and foods that are typically consumed during this time. On long tables, were platters of tamales, tacos, rice, pan de muerto, and more. One of the club members even served up café abuelita chocolate and coffee. In terms of activities, the audience experienced a traditional dance, ballet folklorico, played a Mexican version of Bingo with beans, and had the chance to craft colorful, paper marigolds. Students embraced the culture full heartedly, from receiving a face painting of a skeleton to dancing to the traditional music. “I was sweating and crying because Mexican culture is so beautiful”, stated student Sophia Williams, after much dancing and eating. “It was dope and I really enjoyed myself”.
On the side of the stage, Raíces Unidas set up an ofrenda for Frida Kahlo. When asked, the club members explained the significance of the altar and the items placed on it. As a whole, the altars are yet another beautiful way to honor the dead. Raíces Unidas’ ofrenda was no exception, with numerous skull banners, paper marigolds, candles, and food. The marigolds were described as the flowers of Dia de los Muertos, similar to poinsettias for Christmas. The flowers’ fragrance is thought to lead the dead back to their respective altars. Raíces Unidas did great work in incorporating cultural learning with their Day of the Dead festivities.
As a newly founded club, this fiesta marked their first big event, and a great turnout they had. “It was fun, especially to see all of the traditional culture”, reflected student Katie Konicki. For some, it was their first time having “traditional food”, and celebrating Dia de los Muertos. With a look into the club’s future, keep an ear out and track their events, via the Raíces Unidas Instagram: @raices_unidas