Creighton held its first Día de los Muertos Festival on Friday through a partnership between the Creighton Intercultural Center and Latino Student Association.

People came and went throughout the night and were able to eat traditional Spanish food, participate in activities, watch the Disney movie “Coco” and learn more about the traditions of Día de los Muertos, and how they can vary in different parts of the world.

“I believe this event will recognize the cultural diversity on campus, not just internationally, but locally as well,” said Maximo Guerrero, junior student in the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Latino Student Association.

Día de los Muertos is a two-day holiday that originated in Mexico but is celebrated throughout Latin America and within Latino populations everywhere. The holiday honors the dead with festivals on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 through celebrations that include food, drinks, music and activities that the dead enjoyed during their life.

There were Día de los Muertos decorations displayed, one of the main attractions being the ofrenda, or altar, which is a display that consists of photos and personal objects dedicated to the deceased.

“We decided to put this event on after doing an ofrenda [altar] at the Skutt Fireplace over the last four years,” said Curtis Taylor, assistant director of multicultural organizations and programming. “We figured an opportunity to provide context and education on a holiday would be meaningful.”

Students could participate in activities at the festival, one of them being sugar skull painting. Sugar skulls are commonly decorated by families and placed on their loved ones’ ofrendas. Members of the Latino Student Association expressed their cultural pride by painting their faces to look like sugar skulls.

“I think it’s important for Creighton to have this event because it creates an environment where students can share their cultural pride and heritage with each other,” said Taylor Hamilton, a sophomore student in the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Latino Student Association. 

“It allows them to educate their fellow friends and the student population about how different holidays are celebrated within their countries.”

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