Junior Liliana Gomez
For junior Liliana Gomez, Día de los Muertos is about the traditions of cooking food, playing games and spending time with loved ones.
While there is great diversity in how people celebrate Día de Los Muertos, Gomez usually celebrates the same way every year. “We celebrate it by putting an altar on our table, and we put a lot of different foods and candles,” she said. “Also, on that day, we pray.” Gomez notes how while the celebrations are different in the U.S. and Mexico, the central theme of commemorating the lives of the dead remains the same. “The people celebrating it in the U.S. will probably just be family,” she said. “But in Mexico, everyone celebrates it. You can think of it like the Fourth of July. They have parades and decorate the cemetery with flowers, light and food.”
When she was younger, Gomez didn’t always appreciate Día de Los Muertos and its significance, but as she has grown up, her perspective on the holiday has changed. “When I was younger, I didn’t really understand it,” she said. “I thought, ‘We’re getting a bunch of food, but
you can’t touch any of the food or the altar, so it’s kind of a waste.’ But over time, I’ve learned to appreciate the holiday more.”