A moth of rememberance

Natalie Selensky, News Writer

One may think that once November comes, the skeletons, spider webs and spooky decorations should be stored away. However, feel free to leave the decorations out. November is known as the month of the dead. It is a time when people devote their time and celebrations to deceased friends, family and others who are important to them. Notable days at the start of the month are All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2. These two days are often mixed up but have very different meanings. On All Saints’ Day, celebrators recall the saints, most of them martyrs, and remember the sacrifices they made for their faith. On All Souls’ Day, people are urged to pray for those in purgatory, which will quicken their journey to heaven. In addition, on November 1 and 2, Día de Los Muertos is celebrated. This time is about praying and remembering loved ones that have passed. This celebration is heavily observed by those in and from Mexico and is a tradition that is held every year in their culture. During this time, celebrators build ofrendas, meaning offerings, which are altars that are decorated commonly with bright colors, photos of the deceased loved ones and favorite beverages or foods of theirs. For this culture, most believe that this is an important holiday. Closer to home, Xavier participates in the celebration of these holidays as well. Students in Spanish classes and Spanish Club are particularly exposed to learning about the tradition and culture surrounding the holidays. Mrs. Hoffman sets up an ofrenda in her classroom. “I like setting up an ofrenda in my classroom as part of the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day celebrations,” Hoffman said. “The students were invited to leave names of deceased family and friends in a ceramic bowl located on the ofrenda in my classroom. The ofrenda is another tangible way to remember our deceased loved ones, to talk about them and most importantly to pray for them.” Senior and AP Spanish student Ava Challenger is one of the students who got to experience this in the classroom. “My AP Spanish class watched a video about the celebration and importance of it in Mexican culture, then we spoke in Spanish about what we learned. I think it’s so important to learn about celebrations like this along with celebrations in other cultures because we must learn about the history and traditions of other people in order to respect them properly,” Challenger said. All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day and Día de Los Muertos make November all about the month of remembrance. Make an effort in the month of November to remember the souls of those who lived before.