When I went to school in Seattle (Seattle U to be exact) I took Spanish courses. When I transferred to LCSC I continued on the Spanish course and even took Spanish Lit courses, language courses, and courses geared just towards grammar or culture. I love it.
I don’t know why I’m drawn towards Spanish culture, language, and traditions, but I am. Along with my business major, I earned a Spanish minor and had really good intentions of teaching my children Spanish from the beginning. That didn’t really happen, but I do honor some traditions I love.
One of them is Dia de los Muertos. The Day of the Dead is a celebration the first couple days in November that honors your family and friends who have died. In our house, we create altars and place things at each altar for each person:
My Grandma: picture of her, her perfume, maybe a flower
Clay: a little calavera (that’s a day of the dead skeleton) playing guitar, photos, a guitar pick
My Grandpa: picture
Danny’s Grandparents: pictures
The altars are little — they aren’t a huge production or anything, but a nice way that we remember. In Latin America, it’s hoped that the souls of the deceased will visit and enjoy the offerings you leave for them. Families celebrate those who have died with songs, stories, and food that they may have loved.
I like this tradition. It’s a nice way to remember — it’s hard to get past the really sad part of death, obviously. So even though I miss Clay and my grandparents like crazy (literally not a day goes by that I don’t think of them), I remember how great they were. We’ll play some Phish and String Cheese and laugh hysterically over the hilarious things Clay did and said. I’ll think about “Grandma Days” with my grandma and the way she would laugh really really hard and kick her feet up and down. I’ll remember huge family gatherings at my grandparents house and how my grandpa would get down on the ground and play with the kids. There are lots of fun and happy memories and Day of the Dead is a good excuse to gather them all up — and gather up pictures and put thought into what ‘offerings’ to put on the altar.
Don’t worry, I’ll post pictures once they’re up and done.