Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, May 20, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

UF Mexican American Student Association remembers loved ones during Day of the Dead celebration

<p dir="ltr"><span>Mariachi members celebrate the living and dead Friday night at the Día de Los Muertos event put on by the UF Mexican-American Student Association and GatorNights. In addition to live music, the event also offered food, crafts and face painting.</span></p><p><span> </span></p>

Mariachi members celebrate the living and dead Friday night at the Día de Los Muertos event put on by the UF Mexican-American Student Association and GatorNights. In addition to live music, the event also offered food, crafts and face painting.

 

More than 300 students honored the spirits of their loved ones and learned about one of Mexico’s most well-known holidays. 

The Mexican American Student Association, UF Hispanic-Latino Affairs and GatorNights gathered to celebrate the Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, in the Reitz Grand Ballroom with food, music and crafts Friday night, said Benny Gama, MASA chief of staff.

Gama said he thinks UF students are not fully aware of Mexican culture, so he organized a Day of the Dead celebration to show the history of the holiday and what it means.

“You are supposed to mourn the dead but to a certain extent,” Gama said. “You are also supposed to celebrate their legacy and the life that they lived while they were here on earth.”

MASA began planning the event in August. The organization has never had such a large turnout at a Day of the Dead celebration, he said. The organization used to celebrate in the Reitz Hispanic-Latinx Engagement Center, known as La Salita, with about 30 students. 

In Mexican culture, it is believed that the dead come back on this day to celebrate with loved ones and appreciate their decorated altar, Gama said. Those who have died are said to smell their favorite foods and admire the flowers and commemorating objects on display.

An altar at the festival displayed traditional elaborate cut tissue paper known as papel picado, roses, marigolds, which are the “flower of the dead” and photos of Mexican cultural icons such as Frida Kahlo and Selena Quintanilla. Students also placed photos of deceased family members on the altar and decorated traditional sugar skulls. 

A lively mariachi band, Mariachi Internacional Tapatío from Orlando, took to the papel picado-decorated stage along with Mahetzi, a traditional folkloric dance group from Clearwater.

Brauilio Juarez, a 29-year-old UF coastal and oceanographic engineering doctoral student, said his favorite parts of the event were the performances and the feeling represented at UF.

“It showed the community the variety of the Mexican culture with traditional dancing and music performances,” he said. “To the Mexican community, it reminded us how beautiful our culture is.”

 

Mariachi members celebrate the living and dead Friday night at the Día de Los Muertos event put on by the UF Mexican-American Student Association and GatorNights. In addition to live music, the event also offered food, crafts and face painting.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

 

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.