Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2 in Mexico, and in some parts of Central and South America. In Mexico, this holiday is considered to be one of the most important holidays of the year. Although it is associated with the dead, the holiday is a time to celebrate and honor the lives of loved ones who have passed.
People celebrate Day of the Dead by constructing and decorating ofrendas or home altars, to honor loved ones who have died. Decorations include papel picado, candles, pictures, flowers, food and drinks. There are many special foods and decor that are prepared for the holiday. Sweet bread called pan de muerto (bread of the dead), calaveras de azucar (sugar skulls), and Calacas (skeletons made of papier-mâché).
The Romance Language department has celebrated Day of the Dead for the past six years. The celebration includes setting up an ofrenda or altar in the cafeteria and students decorate it with paper skeletons and paper flowers. On Monday, November 3 all of the seventh grade Spanish students helped decorate the altar in the cafeteria while enjoying pan de muerto and Mexican hot chocolate from a Mexican Bakery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.