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Idaho State Museum helps the Hispanic community celebrate Día de Los Muertos

Posted at 11:51 AM, Oct 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 15:31:44-04

BOISE, Idaho — Día de Los Muertos translates to the day of the dead and although this Hispanic holiday originated in Mexico, countries throughout Central and South America celebrate this holiday in their own unique way.

"This is a special day where we can get together to celebrate our lovers that have passed," said Maria Ortega, who is from Colombia.

The Idaho State Museum is putting together a series of events to help Hispanic people in our community celebrate Día de Los Muertos, a holiday where people remember and celebrate loved ones who have passed away and the belief that they started another life, but are back with them on this day.

"On Wednesday, the 27th we have an interactive alter workshop from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. where you can learn how to create an altar at home and learn about the symbolism of altars," said museum curator Emily Shivers. "We also have our Nuestras Voces program on Thursday which is presented in Spanish and it is going to feature more on the ways different cultures celebrate Día de Los Muertos around the world."

This past weekend the Idaho State Museum held a community day with arts and crafts while also helping facilitate understanding of how different cultures celebrate Día de los Muertas like how Guatemala has a festival with giant kites.

"Barriletes gigantes is just basically a kite," said Ortega. "In Guatemala in the City of Sumpango, they make these giant barriletes that can go up to 60 feet tall and thousands of people come and see just how beautiful they can be in the sky."

The Museum also features a screening of Disney and Pixar's Coco in both English and Spanish and this movie can also help people learn about Día de Los Muertos.

"I know Coco is so fun," said Ortega.

But for the museum this week is all about helping the Hispanic community celebrate their holiday and on Friday they will take their events into the community to the Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa.

"It was really the idea of some of our staff who wanted to be inclusive and make sure we are representing those voices and giving people a voice in our community," said Shivers.

And that's why we included Ortega's description of Día de Los Muertos in Spanish because she had a much easier time conveying her message about what this holiday means to her, I tried to translate it the best I could.

"It's the celebration of the people I love that started another life," said Ortega. "Let's get together as a family to celebrate the feeling that they are here with us."

Día de Los Muertas will be officially celebrated on the first two days of November.