Lincoln celebrates Día de los Muertos

Produced by Matt Jensen, NewsNetNebraska

 A celebration in Lincoln, Nebraska.  

Día de los Muertos in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a great event held every year to celebrate the Mexican culture and their holiday. This celebration in Lincoln has even become an official Nebraska Statehood 150 event.

The event was an all day thing on Sunday, November 5th, and took people across downtown Lincoln to celebrate the holiday from 1-7 p.m. The event started at the State Capitol Building and ended at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union. People went to different locations throughout the day that included the Lincoln Children’s Museum, the Nebraska History Museum and the Bennett Martin Public Library.

The celebration offered viewings of ofrendas, storytelling, music, food and much more. I was able to attend the last event of the day at the UNL Student Union which was put on by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Mexican American Student Association.

 

 What is Día de los Muertos? 

Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a Mexican celebration to honor the dead and loved ones who have passed away. It occurs on October 31st and goes through November 2nd.

Jason Martinez, the Vice President for the UNL’s Mexican American Student Association said, “So this is like the equivalent of… it’s kind of like what in Mexico and Latin America they do instead of Halloween.”

The Mexican culture believes that on these dates the spirits of the dead visit their families. All the festivities held on Día de los Muertos are to honor those spirits.

Martinez said, “One way we do that is setting up an alter.”

These alters or “ofrendas” consist of variety of things. Some of those things include the person’s favorite food, a photo of the person, candles and calaveras (sugar candy skulls). Many Mexicans will visit the graves of the loved ones they have lost and make their “ofrendas” there. The celebration also includes, parades, and street festivals on the streets near cemeteries.

Martinez said, “It’s just a day to remember those who have passed and remember them for who they were.”

 How big of a celebration is Día de los Muertos? 

The holiday Día de los Muertos is a big celebration for the Mexican people and has grown to other countries.

Jason Martinez said, “It’s pretty big in Latin America, really big in Mexico and over the years its been growing more and becoming more popular in the U.S.”

According to an article from unm.edu, Mexicans treat death differently. For them, death is a natural part of life that everyone experiences. So, what is the point in fearing death? Instead, they choose to celebrate death and the time that is available to them.

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