Halloween decorations and costumes abound. Halloween has long been a widely celebrated holiday in the United States. Now near the traditional Halloween store displays you will see colorful skulls, skeletons of people and animals, banners, marigolds, frames etc. These are just some of the items used to decorate and to celebrate Day of the Dead: El dia de los Muertos. This is a holiday traditionally celebrated in all of Mexico but is now celebrated world wide. It is a holiday of joyful celebration of friends and family who have died. Ofrendas (altars/offerings) are built, then decorated with colorful coverings and marigolds. The Ofrendas hold the favorite food & beverages of the the departed along with candles, photos and memorabilia of the deceased. These items encourage visits by the souls to hear prayers and words during this reunion. Family and friends dress in festive clothes and hats with their faces decorated like calaveras (skulls). It is common to give gifts to friends such as candy sugar skulls (calaveras), share traditional pan de muerto (bread of dead) and to write light hearted and irreverent verses in the form of mock epitaphs dedicated to living friends and acquaintances (Calaveras Literarias).
In 2008 this tradition of the Dia de los Muertos was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood is very excited to present the history of El Dia de los Muertos and afterwards to celebrate this holiday ourselves. Some of the Spanish Honor Society members from Scotch Plains & Fanwood High School will give a history with slides about this wonderful holiday. The Society will have an Ofrenda decorated and adorned with traditional items. Calavera masks and tattoos will be available and we encourage you to come in colorful clothes to make this evening a true celebration. We encourage you to bring photos and memorabilia of your deceased loved ones for the altar. We also encourage you to bring your own verses written for your living friends. And bring the friends. The heart of this holiday has remained the same over thousands of years. It’s an occasion for remembering and celebrating those who have departed. We look forward to celebrating with you on Wednesday October 25th. The evening starts at 7:30PM and is held at the historic Shady Rest Golf and Country Club located at 820 Jerusalem Road (at the corner of Plainfield Ave.) in Scotch Plains.
The upcoming meeting is free and all are welcome. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the presentation. For questions, please email Info@HistoricalSocietySPFNJ.org or call 908/322-6700 Extension 230.