Dia de los Muertos comes to HHS


by Matthew Patrizio

Students in Paola Kornspan’s Spanish IV class constructed altars to honor the dead and celebrate Dia de Los Muertos.

Matthew Patrizio, Staff writer

When October comes around, everyone is always in a rush to prepare for Halloween. Between preparing the costumes, the candy, the decorations, and getting ready for trick-or-treating, there is much put into the holidays. But many people don’t realize that right after Halloween, there is another holiday that’s just as fun and spirited. No, it’s not Thanksgiving, but it’s Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican and Latin American holiday that has made its way into the US. As the Spanish equivalent to All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, the holiday is meant to remember and honor the dead and to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away.

This year at Hillsborough High School, Spanish teacher Paola Kornspan helped her AP Spanish and Spanish IV classes appreciate and celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Kornspan’s favorite parts of the holiday include the colors, the food, and the tradition of keeping the memories of the dead very much alive.

Kornspan believes that it is very important for students to embrace cultural differences.

“By exposing our students to different cultures, we are offering them an opportunity to be open minded and therefore, embrace the diversity of our community,” Kornspan said. 

The students in Spanish IV classes celebrated by decorating altars that display offerings to important Hispanic figures who have passed such as actor Desi Arnaz, singer-songwriter Selena, and baseball player Jose Fernandez.

AP students decorated beautiful skulls with vibrant colors. They also wrote poems to important Hispanic figures, highlighting their lives and accomplishments.

Senior Joanna Pitera is in Kornspan’s AP class and got the chance to honor architect Antoni Gaudi, who worked on La Sagrada Familia.

“I like that death is celebrated more than mourned in Spanish speaking countries, unlike the US,” Pitera said. “They have a holiday solely for remembering and celebrating death, which is very cool.”