Holiday celebrates the dead

When we remember the day our loved ones and family members die, we use it as a day of mourning and remembrance.

Unlike most cultures, who use that day for sorrow and sadness, in the Mexican culture they’ve found a way to celebrate their loved ones passing and use it as a day to honor, celebrate and remember the deceased called El Dia de los Muertos also known as The Day of the Dead.

Wednesday Nov. 2 the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan (MECHA) at Pierce College hosted a free and open event in The Great Hall from 10:00am to 1:00pm that celebrated Mexican art and culture.

The event featured arts and craft, face painting, Chicano art display, Mexican dance, traditional Mexican food and most importantly the traditional altar.

“It’s a very traditional celebration in our culture. We don’t mourn the deceased we celebrate their memory, by doing so we offer food, drinks, music and so on in order to commemorate the lives of our loved ones who have passed on,” said Chicano Studies Professor Xocoyotzin Herrara.

Co-chairman of MECHA, Julissa Zarate spoke about the history of “The Day of the Dead” as being a holiday which takes place every year on November 1st and 2nd that is celebrated in Mexico where people believe that the spirits of their loved ones who pass away come back to visit them.

To honor their loved ones death, people set up alters with their favorite foods so that when their spirits come back to visit, they are able to see that their loved ones truly do remember and miss them.

Not only was this a day that included numerous fun activities, but MECHA also wanted people to spread the word about their new organization.

“We’re here to promote cultural and political awareness, social justice as well as promoting education throughout society with Chicano studies,” said Chairman of MECHA, Regem Corpuz.

Although this is the first activity that MECHA is hosting at Pierce, it will be one of many events that they are planning in the future.