The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Toni DeRosa
The Shafter Press 

Dias de Muertos At Grimmway


November 8, 2018

Toni DeRosa | The Shafter Press

Two youngsters were dressed up for the celebration.

Grimmway Academy held their Dias de Muertos Festival on Friday morning as they honored those loved ones who have passed away.

A lot of the students dressed in traditional fashion, sporting painted faces, wearing festival outfits, with some in black and others in bright colors, celebrating their loved ones lives and the chance to have them visit during the celebration.

The students had built an ofrenda, or altar, to honor their loved ones who had passed. It was decorated with their loved ones' pictures, as well as their favorite candies, flowers and other trinkets that hold special meaning to them.

Tradition is that the altars are constructed to honor these loved ones and invite them to celebrate with them during the event. Irene Montoya of Grimmway Academy

said that the event was made possible by the students, staff, volunteers and parents who volunteered.

Montoya said that the students were given a lesson on the origins of the holiday, as well as answering questions they may have about it. She also said that the movie Coco

was a big help in teaching the kids about the tradition.

In addition to dressing up and setting up the altars,

the students were treated to traditional Mexican pastry,

face painting, and traditional music playing. A folklorico

group entertained the children with a couple of traditional

dances celebrating the holiday, dressed in their traditional

dresses and makeup.

One section of the school was set up for the pre-K to

kindergarten students; the other section was made up for

the grade-school children.

Elizabeth and Emily Lopez were two students in special

dresses and white makeup on their faces, celebrating

the holiday. They said that they were having a lot of fun

watching the dancing and hearing the music, and thinking

about the holiday. "This is a lot of fun," said Emily.

The children were told of the traditions of the holiday

and the origins of it. Traditionally, people go to festivals

or cemeteries to be with the souls of departed loved ones.

Altars are made containing favorite food and beverages,

as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed to

encourage visits from their souls. A lot of the time is spent

either praying or telling anecdotes

about the deceased,

allowing them to feel closer

to their loved ones.


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