Nov 022009

To commemorate el DÍa de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead/– today ASAP will be hosting a celebration to honor relatives and loved ones who have passed away complete, with live performances and an alter.

The event will be located in the Grey Rock Room in the Lory Student Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will begin with a 10 minute presentation on the Day of the Dead followed by two performances: Bobby Lefebre, a spoken-word artist and a traditional dance performance by the group Quetzalcoatl.

El DÍa de los Muertos is a national Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Latinos in the United States. The holiday remembers and honors relatives and loved ones who have passed away.

Jenny Kim, a sophomore international relations major and ASAP member, said that there will be an alter, dressed with candles and flowers, where people can bring photos and other personal effects of relatives or loved ones who have passed away to honor their memory.

“(El DÍa de los Muertos) is a time to celebrate people who have passed away by honoring and celebrating the dead,” Kim said.

Robert Rodriguez, a freshman undeclared major, described the day as a time to remember a loved one’s spirit and character.

“It’s important to take the time to celebrate the lives of those who are close to us, even after they are no longer with us,” Rodriguez said. “This gives me a chance to remember and cherish the impact that these people have had on my life.”

Rich Salas, assistant director of El Centro, said the belief is that the spirits of the dead come back and visit the loved ones that honored them.

“The main message of the Day of the Dead is that we should not be scared by death. It’s part of the life cycle,” Salas said.

Salas also said that this event is in part being held to educate CSU students, the campus and the larger community about this holiday.

“I’m glad that we as a university provide an opportunity for students from all backgrounds to show their traditions,” Salas said. “It provides students knowledge both historical and cultural to better understand why we celebrate (el DÍa de los Muertos).”

“It’s good for us to reflect and not always be saddened by people passing away but grasp that perhaps their spirit lives on through you and I,” Salas said.

Staff writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at

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