Fullerton College will celebrate its annual Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead festival, on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in the quad. The event is free and open to the public and regularly draws more than 1,000 people to the college.
Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday devoted to celebrating and remembering those who have passed. The departed are honored through beautiful handmade ofrendas, which means offerings in Spanish. These ofrendas are elaborate altars, adorned with photos, flowers and foods. The event will feature DJ’s, Aztec dancers, a Folklorico dance group, food, and numerous signature Dia de los Muertos ofendras.
“Dia de los Muertos at Fullerton College is very much curriculum driven, in addition to a cultural experience,” said Professor Gerald Padilla who teaches ethnic studies. “It is a celebration of life through the death of people who have contributed to our growth and development as individuals.”
Students participate in the event as cultural enrichment, but also as part of their Social Sciences courses said Padilla. The event will have nearly 30 ofendras on display made by Padilla’s ethnic studies students, as well as students from Sociology Club, Psychology Club, Veterans Club, and many more. In the past, students have made altars to honor of fallen friends and soldiers, family members, and to shed light on injustices which have taken the lives of innocent men and women. Additionally, numerous student clubs and community partners build elaborate ofendras that the public may enjoy exploring throughout the quad.
Padilla started the Dia de los Muertos tradition at Fullerton College more than 20 years ago with fellow faculty in the Ethnic Studies Department. Last year the event drew more than 1,000 participants including students, families, and members of the community.
The celebration is open to students and their families, as well as the community. Parking is free in student parking lots. For more information, please contact Gerald Padilla at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Facebook event page. View a photo gallery and video from the event last year on Facebook and YouTube.