LUBBOCK, Texas- Groups in Lubbock have spent the last couple of weeks preparing for Día de Los Muertos, Texas Tech University Health Sciences told EverythingLubbock.com.
“Día de los Muertos is remembering our loved ones. It helps me in my grief process, because I love talking about those that have gone before me, especially my parents,” said Margie Olivarez, who celebrates the holiday.
The celebration lasts for two days starting November 1.
“It starts with Día de los Angelitos,” said Michelle Saenz, Mental Health Clinician at TTUHSC.
Día de los Angelitos means “Day of the Little Angels” and offers an opportunity to celebrate the infants and children who are all believed to have a special place in Heaven.
“On November 2, in the morning time until the afternoon is Día de los Difuntos,” said Saenz, adding that it’s a time for remembering the adults who have passed away.
In the afternoon on November 2, people observe Día de los Muertos
“That’s when the parade starts and everybody goes to the cemeteries, and they celebrate all together,” Saenz explained.
A common way to remember loved ones during the holiday is with “Ofrendas.”
“Ofrendas are offerings. They have tables that are decorated. They have marigold flowers because they say [the aroma brings] spirits to the living,” Saenz shared.
Olivarez said she always includes photos of her loved ones on the three-tiered altar, which represents the different levels that souls are believed to go through.
“You definitely would want to put a picture of your loved one so that people can see who it is that you’re remembering as you’re talking to them about it,” she shared.
“Ofrendas” usually include the deceased person’s favorite items and or foods.
“You put a glass of water for the thirsty souls when they arrive, and you also have candles for light. We have Calavera skulls and they’re the bright, colorful and beautiful skulls– not those ugly ones,” Olivares said.
TTUHSC School of Medicine said celebrations of the dead can be seen across many cultures and have often been passed down for generations. Ireland and Scotland generally celebrate Halloween by decorating and leaving items for deceased family members, and then welcoming their spirits back.
“Other places such as Poland, Cambodia and Italy also remember the departed souls of their loved ones with similar cultural celebrations,” TTUHSC School of Medicine said.