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Hispanic Heritage Month: Dia de los Muertos Celebration

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Salisbury chapter.

Calacas and Calaveras are the Spanish terms for skeletons and skulls respectively. The skulls pictured above are just small examples of the most popular symbols that are used to represent a culture that 35% of the population celebrate today. By exposing yourself to different people from various backgrounds, you will start to discover traditional or cultural patterns that some individuals participate in. In the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, we wanted to teach you about Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and how to celebrate it. This is a holiday celebrated annually on the 1st and 2nd of November throughout Latin America however, the tradition first originated in Mexico.  The reason it is celebrated over a two-day span is because November 1st, called “All Saint’s Day” remembers the children who passed away and November 2nd, “All Soul’s Day,” frequently honors the adults. Combining indigenous Aztec rituals and Catholicism, many activities are put together for individuals to come together and honor the dead. Instead of focusing on the grief that is common to come along following the passing of a loved one, they take this day to celebrate life itself and recognize death as an inevitable event.

                  To distract themselves from the potential grief they may feel, common practices during this holiday include dancing, arts and crafts, the cooking of various foods and a significant component known as the ofrenda. The Ofrenda is an altar where families can come lay their pictures of the deceased and items that belong to them and that help represent the lives they have lived. The four elements, earth, water, air and fire are all typically present at this altar. While water and fire are provided to quench their thirst and light their path, the air and earth are represented by banners and food.

                  Events that receive a large participation are festivals, dinners, and other public held activities. By allowing people to interact with others that seek to honor their loved ones, a safe and supportive space is created that breeds a new understanding of people in general and the daily struggles they face. Festivals in the United States are held in places such as Arizona, California and Texas with a large Hispanic and Latino population. Crafts at this event include sugar skull making, face painting, jewelry making and other fun, interactive events.

                  Now, we all know it is difficult sometimes to embrace another culture’s traditions however there should always be a constant respect for them because they are influencing the world we all live in. Think of the things you find are important to you, this could be your heritage, your talents or just anything about yourself in general. Reflect on how important those things are to you, now think about how someone unlike you can have those same feelings about different things that are close to them. In the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month, I challenge you to discover one aspect of the culture that you never knew before and spread the knowledge you gain with at least 3 other people. By making sure others are aware, we can strive towards a more united future together.

Nia Avery


Nia Avery is a driven twenty-one year old who aspires to make a difference by having a positive impact on at least one person, every day. In high school, she was enrolled in a rigorous program called The International Baccalaureate Program. This is where Nia first learned that she had a love for writing however, her skills did not fully develop until she started writing and performing poetry during her last two years of high school. When she started attending Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland, she decided to bring her poetry to campus. At SU, she is in her senior year, majoring in Communication Arts and minoring in English. She is also proud to be a third-year Resident Assistant is making strides to ensure that students have a good experience during their time at SU. Nia plans to graduate from Salisbury University and continue her education by going to graduate school to earn her Master's degree in Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution. When she has free time, she enjoys hosting movie nights with her friends, writing poems or burying her face in a book.  Her favorite quote is "Be yourself and let your actions reflect your true character," a quote she created during her freshman year of college that has been a motivator throughout her past four years.
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Jeremie Davis

Salisbury '18

Jeremie Davis is an ambitious eighteen year old who has plans to change the world. While writing for her high school newspaper, she discovered her passion for writing, in which she contributed numerous works to the award winning newspaper. Jeremie also has a strong passion for Theater. She has been acting since she was ten years old. Jeremie is currently attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is majoring in Early Child Education with a minor in Theater and Journalism. Along with writing for Her Campus, Jeremie is apart of Tiger TV, a newly produced student-run news show, located on Morehouse College's campus. After two years Jeremie plans to go to Yale School of the Dramatic Arts where she will earn her Doctorate’s Degree in Fine Arts. In her spare time, Jeremie enjoys watching Netflix, belting out show-tunes, biking, and hanging with family and friends. Her ultimate goal in life is to become either a successful actress or a news correspondent in the entertainment world. She lives by the motto “If you work hard, you get to play hard.”