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Living the Day of the Dead: Magnet students visit annual Atlanta celebration

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On Sunday, October 28th, magnet students received the opportunity to attend the Day of the Dead festival at the Atlanta History Center. At the museum, children dress in traditional Mexican outfits and paint their faces with “sugar skull” design for a pageant. “I really enjoyed the festival because we got a taste of a culture that is very prominent in our society,” sophomore Abbey Corley said.

On Sunday, October 28th, magnet students received the opportunity to attend the Day of the Dead festival at the Atlanta History Center. At the museum, children dress in traditional Mexican outfits and paint their faces with “sugar skull” design for a pageant. “I really enjoyed the festival because we got a taste of a culture that is very prominent in our society,” sophomore Abbey Corley said.

Elyssa Abbott

Elyssa Abbott

On Sunday, October 28th, magnet students received the opportunity to attend the Day of the Dead festival at the Atlanta History Center. At the museum, children dress in traditional Mexican outfits and paint their faces with “sugar skull” design for a pageant. “I really enjoyed the festival because we got a taste of a culture that is very prominent in our society,” sophomore Abbey Corley said.

Elyssa Abbott, Reporter/Photographer

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This year, to celebrate the Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican holiday, the city of Atlanta held a festival at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, October 28. Day of the Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos, honors the deceased by displaying altars and decorating them with flowers, food, and crafts. The holiday, although revolving around death, transpires as more of an up-beat commemoration, celebrating the lives of the deceased. NC’s Magnet program encouraged attendance, offering a bus for students to experience the immersion in Mexican culture.

The Consul General of Mexico (a Mexican representation in Atlanta) presented the event along with the Institute of Mexican Culture. The festival preceded the actual holiday, which occurs over the course of two days starting on October 31 and ending on November 2.

“My favorite part of the day was the opportunity to see the Latino culture celebrated and presented in such a vibrant way. I honestly liked everything from the yummy food to the chance to speak Spanish with others,” senior Lindsey O’Neill said.

The Atlanta History Center offered free admission to both the festival and all other exhibits inside the museum. Vendors sold authentic food in tents that decorated the perimeter of the center stage. The food sold consisted of tamales, tacos, churros, horchata, and conchas (a sweet Mexican bread).

Women and children dressed in vibrant dresses performed dances and Spanish songs to entertain the guests. Performers paint their faces in the intricate “sugar skull” design. Inside the museum, people sold traditional crafts and even more dancing occurred between exhibits.

“What I found most interesting was the honesty present within the exhibits that covered the reality of immigration and being a Latino in the United States whether or not you were born here,” O’Neill said.

The main event of the day consisted of a pageant for children and adult women. They dressed in ornate gowns and large hats or headdresses and painted their faces to mimic the intricate designs of a calavera (skull) and Catrina (a Mexican icon). Guests and the judges of the competition crowded around the stage to observe the colorful outfits and paintings with a closer eye.

Since people primarily spoke Spanish at the celebration, the day made guests feel immersed in Hispanic culture. Everything about the afternoon felt authentic, from the delicious food to the decoration and dress. People of all ethnicities visited and paid respect to those that passed, and the Mexican culture made this event a one-of-a-kind cultural experience for all who attended.

Elyssa Abbott
Speaking primarily Spanish, the emcee announced the children participating in the pageant. She wore a colorful gown representing her culture beautifully. “I adored the colors present in the crafts, dresses, hats, and paint.” sophomore Abbey Corley said.

 

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Elyssa Abbott, Photographer/Reporter

Elyssa Abbott, a sophomore in the Magnet Program at NCHS, joined newspaper to pursue her dream profession of being a journalist. The youngest of 3, Abbott...

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Living the Day of the Dead: Magnet students visit annual Atlanta celebration