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NHS celebrates Día de Los Muertos

Over 100 students and staff gathered in the 1400 pod during lunch on Nov. 3 for the inaugural Northwood Día de Los Muertos celebration.

Students enrolled in various Spanish classes were offered extra credit for participating in fun activities such as face painting, making cultural decorations and baking pan de muerto. Pan de muerto, a sweet roll traditionally baked in Mexico, was the most popular choice.

“I learned that pan de muerto is truly a physical symbol of the celebration of death and life, which is the central message of this aspect of Mexican culture,” senior Michelle Lin said. “The stripes on the top represent bones and the circle in the middle represents the skull. Besides that, making the bread was quite fun too!”

Spanish 4 and AP Spanish students made presentations explaining the significance of the bread and cultural decorations. Additionally, Spanish 2 teachers showcased paper altars at the celebration, while Spanish 4 teacher Haydee Vicente brought a real altar from her home.

“The altars are a way for people to honor their loved one who passed away,” Spanish teacher Luc Landeis said. “It was a way to help students not only learn about the tradition but also participate in it.”

Teachers and students painted their faces to resemble a skull decorated with flowers. Northwood’s Spanish Club helped prepare the decorations which included skulls, marigold flowers and papel picado, a colorful form of paper art. The bright colors of the marigolds paired with the Spanish music playing in the background created a festive environment.

“The day of the dead activity was very enriching; we got to learn about Mexican culture and further appreciate it,” junior Samantha Lee said. “These activities required outside research and helped educate students on different cultures.”

Landeis was the teacher who came up with the idea of the celebration.

“I thought it would be cool to have a celebration so that students can not only learn about this tradition but also celebrate it,” Landeis said. “Our whole department thought it would be a really cool way to bring some joy and cultural learning opportunity to our campus.”

With the success of their first Día de Los Muertos celebration, the Spanish Department plans to expand the event next year with bigger plans for more activities.