Last week in Room 15, we celebrated and learnt about El Día de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead.
For many of us, thinking about loved ones we have lost is a sad and upsetting time, and the thought of death seems scary. We were surprised to see how children in some parts of Latin America are raised to think differently. El Día de los Muertos is a time to think back on happy memories, and spend time rejoicing with family, or at the cemetery with the souls of friends and family who have passed. Lit candles and the scent of flowers guide their loved ones home. Grinning skull toys or lollies help children to imagine a happy afterlife, and not see death as a bad thing.
We learnt that this celebration is spread out over 3 days:
31st of October: The gates of heaven are opened at midnight.
1st of November: The spirits of angelitos (little angels – children) come to visit.
2nd of November: On this day, the spirits of adults come to visit.
In the Sacatepéquez region of Guatemala, there is a Giant Kite festival for the Day of the Dead. People work together preparing their kites weeks in advance, and believe that flying their kites connect their world with the spirits of people they love. We made our own mini kite festival in Room 15, using bamboo sticks, thread, crepe paper and card. Some of us wrote messages on our kites for the people we miss. Have a look at these beautiful kites; we have no doubt that they will make some spirits very happy!