A spiritual return

Day of the Dead honors departed loved ones
Sunday, November 5, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flamenco and rumba rhythms by mid-Missouri band Los Desterrados combined with the aromas of freshly steamed tamales and stew-like pozole in MU’s Memorial Union on Saturday night for a celebration of the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead.


Susan Stolwyk examines a package of “pan de los muertos” (bread of the dead) at MU’s Memorial Union on Saturday. The traditional celebration included native Latin cuisine and altars with the favorite foods and trinkets of those who have died.

(ADAM WISNESKI/Missourian)

The free event, organized by Centro Latino and MU’s Hispanic and Latin American Faculty and Staff Association, brought together children from Centro’s after-school program and their families, as well as other members of the community.

The Day of the Dead, known in Spanish as “El Día de los Muertos,” is a Mexican tradition that gives the living a chance to honor and remember loved ones who have died.

“We decided to celebrate El Día de los Muertos because it brings people together, and it is a nice way to remember people that are no longer with us in their physical life,” said Eduardo Crespi, director of Centro Latino.

Families traditionally visit the cemetery on the Day of the Dead — which combines Catholic and Aztec traditions — and build altars that include candles, skeleton chains, portraits of relatives who have died and the food and drinks they used to enjoy.

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