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Spanish Classes Decorating for Day of the Dead

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Spanish Classes Decorating for Day of the Dead

Photo by Sean Asbrand

Photo by Sean Asbrand

Photo by Sean Asbrand

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Day of the Dead is a Mexican celebration where families honor their loved ones who have passed away.  It is a very vibrant holiday with many bright colors, loud music, and lots of food. Here at BHS, the Spanish teachers have decided to celebrate the occasion by decorating the G300 hallway.

On Day of the Dead, families create altars that are decorated with symbolic items and the favorite belongings of the person being honored.  The altars typically have three layers: underworld, earth, and heaven. Each layer is laden with items that depict the stages of life that the person has lived through.

“Me and Ms. Bennett were especially excited about decorating the halls.  We liked the idea of our classes working together towards one goal,” said Ms. Cisneros, Spanish teacher.

Classes have been making paper cempasuchil flowers, which symbolize the dead, and papel picado, or small, colorful paper flags.  The end of the hall has an altar decorated with items to remind students and faculty of people we have lost and offerings to their spirits, like fruit, bread, and soda.

Ms. Cisneros has celebrated day of the dead in Mexico and wanted to bring some of that lively fun to the school.  The Spanish teachers have place QR codes all around the hall, which when scanned, bring up information about the holiday.

Although the decorations are about the hispanicculture, not every class in the G300 hall is Spanish.  There are also French and German classes. Kaleb Lowdermilk, a German student and a freshmen, didn’t know much about the Day of the Dead, but he does like seeing the decorations on the way to his classes.

“From seeing these decorations I’m learning about a small piece the Mexican culture.  You don’t see things like this in America very often, and it differs greatly from the things that we celebrate here,” said Lowdermilk.  He is interested in learning more about the holiday and what the items symbolize.

Part of the goal for the Spanish teachers was for everyone to learn a little bit about the culture.  Even if students aren’t in the classes that they teach, everyone passing through the hall gets to experience a little bit of the color and joy of the bright holiday.

Not every student enjoyed making the decorations.  Struan Baker, a Spanish two student and a freshman, was unhappy with making the decorations in class.

“I did not enjoy making the flowers.  Although I did learn things from some of the activities we did, the classes where we made the crafts weren’t very productive,” said Baker.

The decorations will be up for a short time after Day of the Dead, which lasts longer than a day, spanning from October 31 to November 2.  The Spanish teachers encourage everyone, whether they are in a foreign language class or not, to come check out the hallway, altar, and the information QR codes that go along with it.

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Spanish Classes Decorating for Day of the Dead