Thanks for stopping by the blog this week! In light of the upcoming celebrations for Día de los Muertos, I am featuring a great short film (about three minutes in length) that really moves the viewer to understand the meaning and importance behind Día de los Muertos.
From the description of the publishers, “[In] this beautifully animated, and heart felt, short film about a little girl who visits the land of the dead, […] she learns the true meaning of the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos.” The main character is first seen at the cemetery, visiting the gravesite of a loved one, when she finds a flower that pulls her into the party of afterlife. She is given guidance by a friendly skeleton, who feeds her fruits and bread, and turns out to be the very loved one who’s gravesite the little girl was visiting. It’s a brief, three-minute-long film that can explain Día de los Muertos in a much easier, more emotional relatable way than just reading a description of the holiday online or out of a book. We think this short could be easily incorporated into a class discussion about Día de los Muertos, and could be used as a base for discussing traditions, afterlife, honoring the dead, and multicultural holidays. Continue reading →
The phenomenon of Día de los Muertos can be traced through Mesoamerica, where death initiated a journey of the soul through the nine levels of Chicunamictlán (The Land of the Dead). Origins can also be traced through Europe, where the popes of four centuries grappled with paganism, eventually establishing All Saints Day and All Souls Days on November 1st and 2nd.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) has launched a Día de los Muertos website, exploring these fascinating origins, including the origins of specific elements like ofrendas and calaveras. The Día de los Muertos website also features lesson plans for ofrendas (all grade levels), calaveras (elementary), papel picado (all grade levels), and sugar skulls (all grade levels). Continue reading →