Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a traditional holiday filled with lively colors, ancient customs and delicious food. Celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2, it blends religious and indigenous traditions of Mexico to honor the memory of deceased loved ones.
“It’s important to keep the tradition of the holiday alive,” said Tania Luviano, a parent and San Diego-based editor-in-chief of Latina Mom TV vlog. She shares her tips on ways parents can make the holiday fun and exciting.
First, she recommends starting with a quick online search to organize Day of the Dead art and craft activities like homemade altars, sugar skulls and papel picado (punched paper). She also suggests teaching little ones the meaning of the holiday by using a tablet to watch an animated video or read an eBook. Parents and kids can decorate photos in their smartphone with the Day of the Dead Me app, which allows users to add hats, roses, painted eyes, and masks to their pictures.
Teens, on the other hand, can explore and interact with the tradition through the Day of the Dead world that is included in Second Life 3D, an online avatar online game created by the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum.
To celebrate with other families, parents can take their children to Day of The Dead community events. Tania travels with her family to the Sherman Heights Community Center in San Diego. This free festival features more than 20 indoor altars and about a dozen homes throughout the town participate in creating outdoor altars. Sherman Heights, Calif., is known to have the second largest Day of Dead altar in the nation.