Day of the Dead Gives Students Chance to Honor, Venerate the Deceased


A shrine completed by Noelia Santamaria.

Knowing that the spirits of your deceased loved ones have the opportunity to be near you is a frightening, yet comforting sensation to have.

Contrary to the opinion of most, the Day of the Dead, celebrated from October 31 to November 2, is not a tradition to scare people, but rather a tradition that remembers loved ones with music and revelry.

“On the Day of the Dead, many people are scared and think it is a type of demon practice. My goal was the opposite and to explain a lot to the students to make them understand the real reason of this tradition,” said Spanish teacher Fanny Anderson.

In Chamblee Charter High School’s library, Anderson’s Spanish classes have made an altar demonstrating the offerings altars normally contain. Each student had the opportunity to choose a character or family member for which they made their respective altar.

“It was a really good experience, because we got to learn more about a culture, and we are always open to learn about them [cultures],” said sophomores Anika Carim and Noelia Santamaria.

The Day of the Dead is celebrated over three days (the day of arrangements, the day of the angels, and the day for the spirit of the adults).

Objects or foods which the deceased liked, or which characterize the deceased, are placed into the altars.

“We did Bob Ross. He is an inspiration for my art, and I like how caring he is for nature,” said sophomore Kamile Epperson.

Among the students who made the altar were Mexican students who celebrate the holiday already.

“I did not learn new things about the culture, because my family celebrates it, but it was very interesting to go into more details and learn,” said junior Celene Morales.

Some of the students already knew a bit about the tradition and nevertheless expressed that they liked making this shrine, even though it was small compared to the offerings found in Mexico.

“I think the learning experience of this project [the altar] was important,“ said Epperson. “It is not hard to do when you make it fun, with a character you get to choose.“