NMSU takes part in celebration of Día De Los Muertos

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NMSU takes part in celebration of Día De Los Muertos

Many New Mexico State University offices and organizations will be hosting events in celebration of the annual Spanish tradition of El Día De Los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead. This holiday will begin Oct. 31 and be celebrated through Nov. 2.

Organizations at New Mexico State University will honor the holiday and help to guide souls home by celebrating with their Día De Los Muertos & Textile Sale event, incorporating the opportunity for individuals or groups to create a customized altar for special relatives and friends no longer with us.

Día De Los Muertos is a day where the living honors the dead with altar memorials, or ofrendas, of their departed friends and relatives. Altars typically include images of the departed, their favorite food and other personal objects that they are remembered by.

According to the Hispanic customary, it is believed during Día De Los Muertos, souls of ones who are no longer with us can come back to our world to visit with us. These altars vary from household but are what make the souls feel welcomed back on earth and help to guide them during their journey.

International and Border Program’s (IBP) Center for Latin American and Border Studies, Hispanic Council, Confucius Institute of NMSU, Honors College, Aggies Go Global, Anthropology Department and the NMSU University Museum at Kent Hall are all in collaboration towards putting on this event.

The last time a Día De Los Muertos event was held at the university was back in 1997.

Thursday afternoon will begin the setup of the altars and memorials at the NMSU University Museum at Kent Hall on the corner of Solano and University. Altar making is from 2 p.m.-7 p.m. The event will continue on Friday from 2 p.m.-9 p.m. with altar viewing from 5 p.m.-9p.m.

“We wanted to provide a space not just to tell part of the Mexican culture but a space for students to participate and celebrate their loved ones who aren’t able to go home and be with their families” said, Braeden Dimitroff, co-coordinator of the event and employee at the University Museum.

This event is inspired by the one done similarly in Juarez, Mexico. It is intended to be a family friendly event, each participating group having an activity for kids. Some activities include the Hispanic Council crafting ceramic skull paintings, while the anthropology department expresses their originality by making sugar skulls.

Activities will run through Saturday from noon-4 p.m.

Rose Vidal, member of the Center for Latin American Border Studies- International Border Programs said they wanted to educate people about the culture that surrounds the holiday.

“We’re hoping this is an event that will carry on year after year,” Vidal said.“We wanted to do something on campus that we could explain. Some cultures don’t deal with death, so this is more of a way to understand the holiday.”

“The dead is not something that has to be a sad thing,” Dimitroff said. “It can also be a way to remember your relatives and keep them in mind.”

There is no requirement to be members of an organization, individuals are welcomed and different culture representations of the celebration of the holiday are encouraged.

This event is free to the public and all are welcomed to create an altar to be displayed. Although, the memorials are built for remembrance of loved ones, creativity will be rewarded. There is a $25 gift card prize to Barnes & Noble to the top two individual or groups with the best decorated altar.

Weaving for Justice will also make an appearance at this event, they will be presenting their third annual Textile Sale on Saturday from noon–4 p.m. The organization will be selling over 600 donated Central American and Andean style Textiles with all the proceeds going towards scholarships that will benefit Maya Youth in Belize, Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico.

Emeritus Professor, Dr. Christine Eber will be doing a reading from her book, When a Woman Rises, on Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

Within the community grows participation for the holiday. The town of Mesilla will be celebrating Día De Los Muertos on the Plaza, allowing families to create their altars while enjoying folklorico dancing, food, music and activities for kids. The event is free to public. Encouraged is a donation of non-perishable food items that will be given to Casa de Peregrinos Food Pantry.

Inquiries about participation should be sent to Braeden Dimitroff at [email protected] or to Rose Vidal at [email protected]

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