Boise State is hosting a Dia De Los Muertos celebration starting on Wednesday, Oct. 27 and lasting through Nov. 2.
The five-day celebration is being run by several university and Latin-based student organizations including Student Equity, Student Involvement and Leadership Center (SILC), Casita Nepantla, Organización de Estudiantes Latino Americanos (OELA) and Movimiento Estudiantil Progressive Action (MEPA).
Most of the events will be taking place in the Student Equity Center, with Nov. 2 marking the main “nighttime” celebration.
According to SILC senior coordinator Tebraie Johns, the event is open to all students regardless of culture and background.
“I want students to be able to join in and participate in this important cultural celebration of Hispanic and Latinx [history],” Johns said. “This is an event that is open for everyone to be able to participate in. You do not have to identify with a particular culture to be part of this event.”
The celebration will showcase five different events spread across five days. Wednesday’s event will include an Ofrenda workshop in the Student Equity Center, Thursday will offer a Loteria-themed paint night with refreshments, and Friday will be a social hour with Pan Dulce, hot cocoa and storytelling.
On Monday, Nov. 1, 20 spots will be available for students to make their own 3D skulls or alebrijes in the MakerLab. Tuesday’s celebration is set to last from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will offer live mariachi music, dancing, traditional food and a candlelight vigil on the B Pavilion.
The final Dia De Los Muertos event will also feature a COVID ofrenda to honor the lives lost to COVID this past year. Students will have the opportunity to write notes of remembrance to loved ones to include in the ofrenda.
“I encourage anyone who’s interested in learning more about this particular tradition and the different artifacts and the different foods, traditions associated with this event, to come through and just to learn and to see what this is about,” Johns said.
Student Equity has been hosting ofrendas in the SUB atrium throughout the last decade, giving importance to the holiday.
“It started because we wanted to showcase the Mexican culture and celebration and traditions of the largest non-dominant student group on our campus which are Latinx students,” said Ro Parker, senior coordinator for Student Equity.
For the first time this year, students will be given the opportunity to make their own ofrendas for the atrium display through activities meant to help students learn about ofrendas and what their different parts mean.
“I think it’s important to understand the traditions and to differentiate Dia De Los Muertos from Halloween because I think there are still so many people that still don’t understand that distinction, and the meaning of the face painting as an honor and not just as a costume,” Parker said.
Visit Student Equity’s Engage page for more information on the times and locations of their Dia De Los Muertos celebrations.