Sign Up Now


Placeholder image

El Weekender

No 88

Dia de Los Muertos

By Denise Jeminez

When my sisters and I were little we loved to watch Lizzie McGuire on Disney Channel. Disney never failed to have great Halloween specials, and one of our favorites was the Dias de Los Muertos episode of Lizzie McGuire. The episode was centered around the Latina Character Miranda and her family’s tradition of celebrating Dias de Los Muertos. During this episode, Lizzie and Miranda somehow bring the calacas and calaveras to life, so they could teach their middle school bully a lesson. We loved the spookiness of the episode and enjoyed that our Latin heritage was included. But, the episode may have confused viewers as to what the true meaning and tradition of Dias de los Muertos is. So, before you put on that “Day of the Dead” costume and paint your face like a sugar skull, maybe take a moment to find out what you are dressing up as first.

Just like many other holiday traditions around the world, Dias Los Muertos is the result of a collision of cultures. As Latin America was colonized by Catholic Spaniards, All Saints Day became widely celebrated with Family and Friends. They would come together, share delicious foods, and enjoy other festivities, like storytelling. The Spanish would retain some of the Aztec traditions that were similar to All Saints Day, however the Aztec rituals were more festive and would bring Dias De Los Muertos to life.

November 1st marks the first day of Dias Muertos. Family and friends join at the cemetery to clean up the gravestones and decorate them with festive colors, flowers, and the trademark calaveras. In addition to the traditional alters, families will honor their deceased loved ones by bringing them food. As it would be disrespectful to mourn the deceased by crying and being sorrowful, there is an elaborate parade with music, dancing, and precessions of partiers, often with sugar skull painted faces and dressed in traditional Mexican attire. All Souls Day on November 2nd brings the Dias Muertos celebrations to an end.

Now, my family did not celebrate Dias de Los Muertos, however, like many Mexican American families, the outlook on the death of a loved is similar. Rather than a somber gathering when loved ones pass away, there is delicious food, family, music and the celebration of life.

In the United States, “Day of the Dead” is also celebrated alongside Halloween. The celebrations aren’t as focused on the religious and traditional aspect, however, the original Halloween traditions from the Celtic era seem to be quite similar to the All Saints Day (Dias Muertos) Celebrations in Latin America.


NV Home

Click to read story

Digital Age Is Taking Over Sports

When one thinks about sports, the last thing that comes to mind is technology. But it seems like that is about to change. Videogame competitions, or eSports, have become a multimillion-dollar industry. The stadium used in South Korea for the Soccer World Cup in 2007, can be filled today with eSports fanatics.

Read More

Click to see the full story

Safe Bus Routes to School

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner joined families from W.J. Turner Elementary to celebrate the campus's Walking School Bus and Safe Routes to School program. Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner greets W.J. Turner Elementary families as part of the campus's Walking School Bus, which encourages children to move naturally on their way to school.

Read More


Will Arlington School Trustees and Superintendent Stand for DACA?

In early September, President Donald Trump announced that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program aimed at youths who were brought to the United States illegally as children would come to an end in six months. But President Trump also urged Congress to come up with a permanent replacement.

Read More

The Legacy of Our Seniors

The young woman commented that she disliked that her mother-in-law came by the house so often and most of the time she dropped by when it was not “a good time” for her. The other young woman added that she was glad that her mother-in-law lived so far away that she could not visit very often. What the discussion revealed is that the mother-in-laws wanted to see their grandchildren but the young mothers seemed to think that at any time…it was not a “good time” for them to visit.

Read More

Sign Up Now
Click for larger image

Sign up to receive our e-mails