The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Remembering family during Día de los Muertos 

Chandler Smith
Students attend the Sugar Skull Paint and Sip and paint their skull in recognition of Day of the Dead.

Painting in honor of loved ones as a tribute and tradition is important to many Eastern students who participated in sugar skull paint and sip Thursday evening at 7th street underground.  

“I love that you do not have to be a Latina or Mexican to join in on the festivities. This is really an environment that everyone can feel welcome in,” math teacher education major Silas Roemer said. “Día de los Muertos is more than just a Mexican tradition. It is a way to honor your deceased loved ones, no matter what your previous cultures were.”  

Sugar Skulls have been popular for years and are a representation of a human skull but instead made from sugar or clay.  

“Sugar skulls are a traditional decoration used in Mexican celebrations of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), which is typically observed on November 1st and 2nd,” President of the Latin American Student Organization Guiselle Padron said. “The Day of the Dead is a time to honor and remember deceased loved ones, and sugar skulls are often used as part of the festivities.”  

The skulls are normally decorated with colorful icing, sequins and other adornments, Padron said. 

To some of Easterns students this is more of a remembrance but a way to recognize those who have passed away and support each other.  

“I know it is the holiday that celebrates people’s loved ones that have passed, and I do not personally celebrate it, but I have a lot of, like I said, a friend that celebrates the holiday,” elementary education Lily Spiese said. “It is a cool holiday to celebrate and like I said, I just wanted to come out and support the organization throwing the event.” 

The importance of Day of the Dead has brought people together to recognize the importance of their loved ones and different cultures. 

 “This is just a fantastic way like I said, to bring awareness about different holidays that happen because there are so many holidays and so many cultures and it is just impossible to like to know about every single one,” Guiselle Padron said. “It is also a way to bring everybody together. It is not just Mexican people like coming together and celebrating this. Also, everybody is willing to learn and wants to celebrate with you.” 

Over the years the number of people that attend Sugar Skull Paint and Sip has grown and more people have gained awareness of diverse cultures. 

“I do see it grow because thankfully, we have more cultural awareness. Now we are more open to learning about unfamiliar cultures.” Padron said. “This is going to grow and just bring more awareness about the holiday and what it does and like the origin and stuff so that people will just know about it.” 

This is the last Sugar Skull Paint and Sip event until next fall semester but for other cultural activities around campus visit Eastern website.  

Chandler Smith can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Chandler Smith
Chandler Smith, Reporter
Chandler Smith is a senior broadcast journalism major. He previously served as a reporter at The News.
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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