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Augustana to host Day of the Dead celebration

October  18, 2013

Dia de los Muertos — also known as the Day of the Dead — is a Mexican holiday that honors friends and family members who have died. Augustana College’s Latinos Unidos student group will host a Day of the Dead event on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Casa Latina (3416 9½ Ave.), Black Culture House (3249 10th Ave.) and Asian Pagoda House (912 34th Ave.). The general public is invited to attend.

Each of the locations will have a different activity for students and community members that attend, including refreshments, face painting, music, crafts and more. This year one of the houses will feature a Catrina doll, one of the most well-known symbols of the Day of the Dead.

An important activity connected with the Day of the Dead celebrations is building private altars to honor the deceases using sugar skulls, marigolds and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. Augustana students will build altars for this event.

“It was believed that the deceased come back to earth during these days and see the altars created in their memory,” said Greg Aguilar, Augustana’s director of multicultural services. “It is also believed that they can hear the music that is played, and smell the food that is prepared for them. While they cannot be seen, it is alleged that their presence can be felt by those who believe.”

Due to class schedules, Augustana students are planning an early Day of the Dead celebration. Traditionally celebrated on November 1 and 2, the Day of the Dead is connected with two Catholic holidays—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Keri Rursch
Director of Public Relations
(309) 794-7721
kerirursch@augustana.edu