Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Celebration of the Dead – Dia De Los Muertos


Last updated 11/14/2018 at 2:42pm

For children, especially those in costume, the Day of the Dead shows up a lot like Halloween, but for adults, Dia de Los Muertos has a deeper meaning.

Steeped in Mexican-Central American tradition, the observance is a means of honoring those relatives and friends who have passed, and to entice their spirits to return and know they have not been forgotten.

On Nov. 2, inside of the former Ocotillo Boutique space, altars were varied in construction complexity, but always colorful, designed with specific individuals in mind.

Items such as water, lights, food, and incense each have a special meaning: Water for a soul having to travel a long way, coming and going back; candles for each person honored; favorite foods; and even incense to keep away bad spirits.

For a son or nephew who died following complications from surgery, or an aunt of unique grace and generosity, or a great-great grandfather who has inspired generations to follow, all are remembered and their spirits are encouraged to pay a visit.

The Day of the Dead concept may be catching on with non-Latinos, as well.

Borrego Springs Unified School District Community Liaison Martha Deichler had an altar on display in remembrance of her mother; a package of grits was given a place of honor and served as enticement, with a bit of southern hospitality, to return.

The children also dedicated an altar to former State Park Ranger Steve Bier.

Bier was so loved by the town. He passed away unexpectedly at a young age last year. An Outdoor Learning Center was dedicated to him in June of this year.

For the younger children, the celebration gave some the opportunity to show off their dancing skills to traditional Mexican music, and for an appreciative audience; their costuming was as bright as the smiles on their young faces.

Singing sensation 2018 – 19 Miss Borrego Dennise Cecena wowed the crowed with several selections, including a song by pop-culture icon Selena.

All in all, the Day of the Dead was a joyous rather than somber affair, and we non-Latinos had the opportunity to learn a little more about Latino customs and traditions.

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