COLORADO SPRINGS — Dia de los Muertos, known as Day of the Dead, began at midnight on Monday night, and a community celebration happened at the Fine Arts Center on campus of Colorado College.
In the hallway inside at the Fine Arts Center, there are seven ofrendas created by students from the community. Ofrendas are altars to honor friends and family who’ve passed away. Each one ofrenda is different and unique in its own way.
“An ofrenda is basically where you put a picture of your loved one, and you also put their favorite desserts,” said Alexandra Flores, an intern at the FAC.
Ofrendas are also decorated with colorful flowers, candles, sugar skulls and butterflies.
“People associate the butterflies as being ancestors that are passing by, because their migration period is during this time,” said Flores.
Flores celebrated Dia de los Muertos with her family as a kid growing up.
“It’s very nostalgic to see all these beautiful flowers and all of these decorations because this is what I grew up with, and I did celebrate this a lot back home.”
The tradition originated in Mexico, but is now celebrated across Latin America and parts of the United States. It's a two-day celebration of life to keep loved ones alive in memory and spirit.
“It’s a time where I remember people that inspire me, and maybe are not here with me, but I know I’ve learned from them. So I try to continue the tradition,” said Mariana Rodriguez, the cultural program coordinator at Colorado College.
The college partnered with local schools to teach students about the meaning behind the celebration, and what ofrendas are for.
“Each one of them has their own identity, their own personality, and that's that's the secret like, you have to put something that is very personal or meaningful for you in the altar,” said Rodriguez.
The ofrendas now line the halls at the Fine Arts Center where a celebration is happened earlier this week.
“We’re celebrating our loved ones that have passed away that are resting in peace now, and instead of mourning them, we can appreciate them,” said Rodriguez.
There is also hispanic artwork on display. Those who attended also got to participate in building a community ofrenda. People brought a photo of their loved one and placed it on the ofrenda.
For more information about the celebration, click here.
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