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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day of The Dead Celebration

Día de Muertos

Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead is a Mexican Holiday celebrated throughout  Mexico and the world.
It is a time to remember those who are no longer with us and the celebrate in the life we have.
I have always held this holiday in my heart since I lived in New Mexico and saw the way life and death are celebrated and honored. 
In our own little way we celebrated this day.

We first created Papel Picados ( paper cutouts) which often are displayed in banners that stretch across the room and Day of the Dead alter.
I prepped the paper by doing an accordion fold and then the children went to town cutting
This was of course a well loved activity because the kids LOVE using scissors, but they
 were also excited to see what patterns they made after unfolding the paper

Nothing like Sombreros on the heads of these little ones, the hats were half the size of these girls!

Here is our play space decorated with Papel Picados I made years ago with students when I was teaching high school art.

Another project we did was to take coffee filters and use fall colored washable markers to color them in.
Then taking an eyedropper with water, the children watched as the colors bleed into each other
After they dried, they scrunched them together and tied them together with a pipe cleaner
The result were these beautiful colored flowers that we placed on the Day of the Dead alter.
Along with the hand made flowers, the children threaded garlands using mums.

These too were added to the alter we created.
It was a beautiful celebration, we drummed and each went up to the alter
and said a little thank you to whatever the children felt they wanted to celebrate.
I heard them say things like, "thank you Mommy and Daddy," "thank you food,"
"thank you doggies," "thank you flowers."
It was really sweet.  The intention was them to celebrate something that meant something to them. 
It did not have to be the traditional honoring of the dead,
I think life and death are important to celebrate at this time and it was
nice to see them expressing the things that mean something to them at the precious age of 2, 3 and 4.

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