Día De Los Muertos
When Martin goes to his Spanish teacher’s house for his weekly lesson, he is impressed by all the decorations. Are they for Halloween? It turns out that Martin’s teacher is celebrating Día de los Muertos, a festival that honors loved ones who are no longer living. Although Martin is initially a little wary of all the skeletons, he soon appreciates the way Dia de los Muertos combines good food and memories in a really fun way — enough so that Martin teaches his own family to celebrate the festival as well.
This story gives context to the Día de los Muertos or "Day of the Dead" festival celebrated in the Americas. The festival uses skeleton imagery and altars in which there are photographs of family and friends who had died. The tone is celebratory rather than grieving, but families who are sensitive about the subject of death should be advised.
Projects, Crafts, and Recipes for this Story
Strung into a garland, a bucket of marigolds can make a pretty offrenda into a truly beautiful one. In addition to being a common courtesy for receiving honored guests, the flowers represent the fleetingness of life to help celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
The Wonder of Halloween
David talks about why children actually want to dress in gory costumes of monsters, the undead and the maimed: they are still looking for wonder!