This calendar listing is intended to provide information about the named cultural/religious observation and is not intended as an actual campus event. If a campus event is associated with this observance, it will be listed separately on the master calendar.
Beginning on the evening of October 31 and celebrated through November 2 by Mexicans and Mexican Americans, this holiday has its roots in two traditions: the Christian observance of All Saints and All Souls Day, and two Aztec festivals in which the souls of the dead were welcomed back to visit those who remembered them. Central to the observance is the creation of an ofrenda, or altar, in the home, with flowers, foods, and favorite possessions to honor the memory of deceased loved ones and to welcome their visiting souls. The holiday is celebrated with family and community gatherings, music, and feasting, and the festivity of its observance acknowledges death as an integral part of life.
Recognizing the Festival/Holiday: In Mexico, candy sculls and skeletons are popular treats, along with pan de muerto, a sweet bread decorated with bones and skulls and colored sprinkles. In southern Italy, children receive baskets filled with nuts, pomegranates, and martorana, colored marzipan fruit, and are told it is a gift from their ancestors. Also popular throughout Italy are skull- or bone-shaped cookies made from ground almonds and eggs, sometimes flavored with cocoa, called osso da mordere, or dead man's bones, and butter cookies flavored with rum or brandy called fave dei morti, or dead man's beans, both of which are hidden as a present to the children from the departed ones. In Balkan countries, kolivo or zhito, a wheat porridge with raisins and honey, is topped with silver dragees or almonds to make a cross and the initials of the dead.