The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

Dia De Los Muertos Celebrates Life

Saniya Huerta
Kamila Gradilla (’25) performs a traditional Folklórico dance on Nov. 3, 2023.

Last week Shadow Hills celebrated Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, not to grieve those who have passed away, but to honor their lives. Día de los Muertos is a holiday centered around death that actually commemorates life. Staff and students recognized the holiday by making ofrendas – or altars – listening to Mariachi music during lunch, and even painting their faces. Mecha Club advisor, Ms. Quintero, helped to organize the lunchtime festivities. 

“I honestly believe these kids need to embrace their culture,” she explained. “They need to know their background and embrace the few opportunities that we have to celebrate those that have passed.” 

The holiday started with the Aztecs as a Mesoamerican celebration. November 1 is dedicated to recognizing the spirits of children who have passed away, and on November 2, the focus shifts to the spirits of adults. 

Leading up to the holiday, people light candles in remembrance of those they’ve lost. Water is also often used in the memorials, signifying and recognizing lost or lonely souls. Throughout the holiday people create ofrendas to honor their passed family/friends. They decorate using candles, their loved ones’ favorite food, and other offerings. Festivals are also held during the two days. Calaveras, or skulls, are a symbol of the holiday.

On Thursday the quad was decorated with posters, and photographs of friends, family members, and pets. At lunch a Mariachi band performed beautiful Mexican music. Junior Kamila Gradilla performed a Folklórico dance in a bright dress. 

“It’s my tradition,” Gradilla said. “I respect it and I want to do something fun for the school so they can look at it.” she added. 

Día de los Muertos extended into classrooms as well. In Spanish classes students made paper bag ofrendas to honor the lives of loved ones. They were placed on the steps of the outdoor stage.

“I really like it when students celebrate the Day of the Dead because it’s a tradition that’s been going on from generation through generation,” explained Spanish teacher Señora Cantu. “I like that it’s celebrated in the United States too and not just in Mexico,” she added.

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About the Contributors
Saniya Huerta, Features Reporter
Saniya, a junior at Shadow Hills, aspires to become a pharmacist. She loves listening to Drake and watching anime in her free time. She loves spending time with her family and friends. When it comes to journalism, her strengths are writing and interviewing. She put her all in everything and hopes to share interesting stories for others to enjoy.
Desteny Sanchez-Ruiz, Staff Reporter
Desteny is a junior at Shadow Hills High School. She was born and raised in the Coachella Valley. She enjoys music, reading, running, and shopping. She plans to go to COD and then transfer to a university; she aspires to be an RN after college.
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