MONDAY, OCTOBER 18
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University will kick off its Day of the Dead celebration with an altar installation Oct. 24 and continue activities until Nov. 1 -- the beginning of the two-day holiday.
The Nov. 1 celebration will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center on the OCU campus. The exhibition is free to the public.
The celebration, now in its second year at OCU, will feature authentic Mexican food, music and dancing. Oklahoma City artists will display altars to recognize the holiday.
Dia de los Muertos, Spanish for Day of the Dead, is observed prominently in Mexico. Teresa Rendon, adjunct professor of history, said she learned a lot about the holiday while teaching in Mexico City for three years and specializing in Latin American culture. Rendon will teach students about Day of the Dead traditions during a three-day sociology course.
“I was very impressed and intrigued by the different ways Dia de los Muertos is celebrated,” Rendon said. “It is now an annual tradition in my family.”
Day of the Dead has roots in both the Christian tradition and the Aztec culture. Día de los Muertos occurs Nov. 1 and 2 in connection with the Catholic observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Rendon said it also traces its origins to the centuries-old Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, "Lady of the Dead."
To celebrate Día de los Muertos, many people build private altars to honor their deceased family members and friends. The altars may incorporate personal or sacred items that were important to the deceased and may include decorated sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite food and drink of the deceased. Families visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried and clean the grave sites prior to constructing altars and laying out foods, beverages, flowers and favorite possessions at the site.
For more information, call 405-208-5287.