• Important Dates -->
  • 11/22-24: Thanksgiving Break
  • 12/5: School Store Holiday Shopping Night
  • 12/6: Orchestra Concert
  • 12/7: Band Concert
  • 12/8: Rock Ridge Hackathon
  • 12/8: Frost Fest
  • 12/11-12/15: Winter Spirit Week
  • 12/12: Guitar Concert
  • 12/14: Chorus Concert
  • 12/15: Winter Pep Rally
  • Dec. 20-Jan 1: Winter Break
The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


A Dedication to the Deceased: Day of the Dead Bridges Generations

On Friday, Nov. 3, the Spanish department celebrated the Day of the Dead by decorating the library and creating artwork to display around the school. Preparations for the event started as early as Oct. 27, and students taking Spanish classes worked diligently to create drawings and art pieces to emphasize the colorful and vibrant atmosphere surrounding the Mexican holiday.
Sitwat Mian
Unlike many other parts of the world, Mexico celebrates death colorfully and cheerfully. The festival is focused on healing and understanding the fact that death is inevitable. “Usually, we go to the cemetery and visit family [members] that have passed away,” Spanish teacher Celia Nagle said. “We also bring flowers [to decorate their graves.]”

The start of November marks the start of the vibrant and culturally significant Mexican holiday: The Day of the Dead. Known as “Día de los Muertos” in Mexico, this two-day holiday celebrates the connection between the living and the deceased. 

The holiday generally begins on Nov. 1 at midnight and concludes on Nov. 2 at noon. On Nov. 1 at midnight, deceased children visit the real world. Their families and loved ones decorate their alters with toys, candy, and snacks. On Nov. 2, deceased adults are believed to visit the real world at midnight and their altars are decorated with “adult themes” such as alcoholic beverages. At noon, spirits of all the dead join in on the celebrations. 

Many Mexican families take this opportunity to honor their deceased family members by creating offerings and decorating altars. Some believe gifts or offerings encourage the deceased to visit the land of the living.

Story continues below advertisement

The week before the school’s celebration of the holiday, Spanish teacher Celia Nagle encouraged her students to participate in various activities to recognize the Day of the Dead. “As a class, we’re splitting into groups and making a handmade item to contribute to the table of offerings,” sophomore Kaelyn Alimusa said. “In Hispanic culture, they celebrate their ancestors and make an offering table to honor them.” 

Students also participated in activities like cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper (El Papel Picado), designing and coloring skeleton heads/skulls (Las Calaveras De Azúcar), and framing pictures of lost relatives (Las Fotos). The classes worked in different groups and took on the responsibility of creating colorful decor to display on the altar (Ofrenda). 

Students were able to learn about Mexican culture and have fun while they helped set up for the event. “I’m having so much fun drawing [the Catrina],” sophomore Ainika Akuthota said. The Spanish classes that week were relaxed and intended to serve as a learning experience for students. 

Nagle emphasized to her students the significance of the holiday and why it’s important to celebrate it the right way. “It’s a special event because we are teaching culture to the students and what the Day of the Dead represents for us,” Nagle said. 

All of these preparations paid off on Nov. 3, as the library was decorated with numerous posters, paper candles, flowers, and artwork to honor the Mexican holiday. It was set up to be a walk-through event, where students could learn about Mexican culture and appreciate the significance of the Day of the Dead.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Sruthi Vivek, Sports Editor
Sruthi Vivek is a sophomore and this is her second year on “The Blaze” staff. She is the Sports Editor, and she’s looking forward to all of the amazing things that the staff will accomplish this year. Sruthi plays for the Rock Ridge varsity basketball team, and she loves sports in general. She loves going to football games and hanging out with her friends at tailgates. When she’s not out socializing, you can usually find Sruthi in her room stressing about school work or watching TV shows. She’s also very passionate about art and loves to paint in her free time as well. Sruthi is a huge music fan, and you’ll usually find her listening to R&B and rap artists like Bryson Tiller, Drake, Travis Scott, and Tory Lanez. She originally joined Newspaper her freshman year because she loves to write and take pictures.
Hylay Assefa, Staff Writer
Hylay Assefa is a junior at Rock Ridge High School and is in his third year on “The Blaze'' staff. He primarily joined the staff due to his passion for reporting and writing news stories. Assefa, who also currently plays soccer for the Rock Ridge soccer team, coaches Loudoun One Soccer for youth boys throughout his community. As a fan of a wide variety of music genres, such as rap and R&B, Assefa’s favorite musical artists include “The Weeknd,” and “Destroy Lonely.” Assefa looks forward to the upcoming Rock Ridge soccer season and prom later this year.
Sitwat Mian, Graphic Editor
Sitwat is a junior, and the Graphics Editor for the Newspaper. She enjoys art and is excited to create graphics for the staff this year. When she’s not frantically worrying about school, you can find her listening to music, spending time with her family, and eating. She is probably the most unathletic person you will ever meet, and has the memory and attention span of an Ostrich. Ultimately, Sitwat hopes for another creative and successful year in Newspaper.
Alexis Cortés, Design Editor
Alexis Cortés Negrón is a staff writer and the design editor for "The Blaze," and is involved with other extracurriculars such as the Art & Literary Magazine. This year he looks forward to improving his craft of writing and editing, specifically in graphic design. He joined the school newspaper in order to work more on expanding his “genre horizon,” and looks forward to exploring other topics and stories such as in news and entertainment. Some other hobbies include writing novels, short stories, and poems as well as playing the violin, water coloring, and cooking.

Comments (0)

All THE BLAZE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *