The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Offerings on an ofrenda

Illustrated+by+Amber+Davis
Illustrated by Amber Davis

Important items for Día de Muertos

Jose Romero
editor-in-chief

Día de Muertos — Nov. 1 and 2 — is a Mexican holiday that celebrates loved ones or prominent figures who have died.

The holiday has many items associated with it and one of the most prominent ones is an ofrenda, an altar people place offerings on for the dead. An ofrenda is usually surrounded by bright yellow flowers called cempasúchil, or marigold in English. The reason the petals are placed along the ground of the ofrenda is to guide the dead to the offerings. Disney’s “Coco” references this idea since the flower forms a bridge between the land of the dead and the living.

Each item put up to offer on an ofrenda has significance. Pan de muerto is a bread roll with sugar sprinkled on top, giving it a white, shiny layer. It’s left out so the dead can absorb its essence. Similar reason for most of the other foods left on the altar. Candy, alcohol, tamales, atole — a hot, corn-based beverage that usually has cinnamon on top — and candy skulls.

Calaveras, or candy skulls, are usually used to represent Día De Muertos. The skulls are designed to highlight the personality of the person it’s being left for. Vibrant colors such as blue, green and red are painted onto the calavera along with
patterns or floral designs. Even though it’s a “candy skull,” it can be edible but some people choose to make it out of clay instead of sugar.

Another item that’s usually surrounding an ofrenda is veladoras, candles. Veladoras have a similar purpose to the cempasúchil petals. The light from the wick and the scent of the wax is said to guide spirits to their grave to retrieve their gifts. Many of the items of an ofrenda are put there specifically to ensure that spirits can find it.

One of the most important items of an ofrenda is a picture of a loved one. The loved one who passed is the reason an ofrenda is made. It’s used as a way to
honor and remember their life. A picture is also put so the loved one knows which ofrenda is for them.

NE Campus will host a Día de Muertos event Nov. 1 in the student center and will have an ofrenda on display in the NSTU north hallway.

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