Around Bosco: St. John Bosco Hosts First Día de los Muertos Event in Two Years
By Nicholas Neoman
Last week, various Bosco clubs and organizations filled the quad in celebration of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Beginning in the afternoon, pictures of deceased loved ones, candles, marigolds and other treasured paraphernalia packed the quad. These items, of course, made up an “ofrenda” in honor of people in the Saint John Bosco community that passed away. Students and teachers alike came together to assemble these altars and remember the loved ones that they miss.
In the evening, the celebration of life began. Vendors from Bosco sold Mexican food while people from all around the community gathered together. As always in the Salesian tradition, Father Ted and the Youth Ministry team began the event in prayer, asking God to remember those who have passed on. Father Ted passed by each “ofrenda,” raising incense in their honor and blessing their pictures with holy water.
After this prayer service, the festival of life began. Latin music filled the air as people from all around the community started to socialize and celebrate Día de los Muertos. Some students and faculty, who grew up in communities that celebrated Día de los Muertos, felt very at home during the event.
“My family used to take Día de los Muertos very seriously, especially in the factor of not being fearful in the face of death. The only thing that you should fear is God, and death is just a byproduct, and it is actually an entrance to a new world,” said faculty member Mr. Rummel Requerme.
Mr. Requerme described Día de los Muertos as a time when people should not be mourning the loss of loved ones but, rather, celebrate their life and the fact that they are now in the Kingdom of God. Death is not the, end but rather the entrance in which people move into new life. Thus, Día de los Muertos is purely a day to remember when loved ones were reunited with family in paradise.
Others viewed the event as more important in terms of the traditional aspect.
“Growing up, our grandparents, their parents, it’s kind of a way of showing us [our great-grandparents and] their legacy that they left for us and [use] this tradition as a way of remembering those who have passed. You have not known them, but we have their stories, their pictures, and the altar for seeing who they were,” said Mrs. Alejandra Diaz, a Bosco chef.
Mrs. Diaz believes that Día De Los Muertos is there to remind everyone of the people they lost. It is a holiday to remember and cherish the memories people have of loved ones that have passed away. This tradition is an event used to celebrate people’s lives and give them a sense of who they were. By putting their favorite things on the altars, spectators can envision who each person was and what made them so unique to each family.
As the celebration of life continued in the quad, the night roared on with a passionate zeal. Ballet Folklorico dancers filled the area and performed a customary Día De Los Muertos dance. Saint John Bosco was alive with Latin culture everywhere.
As the night started to digress, vendors beginning to pack up and passersby heading home, the “ofrendas” still remained, honoring all of the loved ones who have died. But for most, Día De Los Muertos is a year round event, constantly celebrating the lives of those who have passed on.