In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is an opportunity for us to celebrate the life of our deceased loved ones. It is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November – the 1st being dedicated to the “little angels” (children who have passed away) and the 2nd to the adults who have passed away. While this celebration can really be appreciated in its ‘purest’ form by visiting an indigenous tribe, it is celebrated throughout the country and by many Mexicans living abroad. I talk with two other Mexican John Cabot students, Victoria Barreda and Jimena Navarrete, about how we celebrate the Day of the Dead while living in Rome.
Jimena Puga: Usually an altar is set up for the person (or people) who have passed away, whether it’s for a family member or a friend. They can be set up at home or at the graveyard. When creating an altar, some elements that must be included are: pan de muerto (bread of the dead), which is a sweet bread made only during this time of the year; sugar skulls; candles; incense; yellow or orange marigolds; and most importantly, a photo of the person who passed away. On November 2nd, I usually get together with a group of friends and we eat traditional Mexican food and pan de muerto and remember our loved ones who have passed away.
Victoria Barreda: Because I am from the northern part of Mexico, we do not celebrate this tradition as much as people in the center or the south of Mexico do. However, I usually go to church with my family when I am back home, or with friends here at John Cabot.
Jimena Navarrete: During the last couple of years, I have celebrated the Day of the Dead in Greece with my family. We usually make pan de muerto and create an altar with the rest of my family or the community.
Join John Cabot’s community of Latin American students through the student-run club OLA.