Día de los Muertos Returns to BC with Festive Flair

With decorative perforated paper bursting with vivid colors and groovy music, Boston College’s Mexican Association of Students (MAS) brought back their annual Día de los Muertos—or Day of the Dead—celebration. 

“The Day of the Dead is the largest event that’s held by the club because of several reasons,” Christina Garcia Busa, co-president of MAS and CSOM ’22, said. “The first is because it’s a universal Mexican holiday, so it’s not regional by any means.”

On Wednesday night, MAS invited all BC students to Gasson Hall for traditional Mexican activities like Lotería and plate painting in celebration of Day of the Dead. The holiday itself is a day of remembrance and prayer for those who have passed away. 

“It’s very significant in Mexican culture, I think because people form very strong connections with their family, and family is a very important value in Mexican culture,” Garcia Busa said. “And the event celebrates family, all those that have passed. That’s why this event is very significant for the club.” 

The event included face painting, marble throwing, and balloon shaving stations. Students also lined up for churros and danced to popular Merengue songs including “Se Encendio el Beeper.”

The Offering, or Ofrenda, was at the center of the room. The table was decorated with a skull patterned tablecloth, strings of lights, flags, and candles. 

Sofania Guerra, Lynch ’25, spoke about the significance of the Ofrenda for Day of the Dead. 

“It’s supposed to be a celebration of their lives,” Guerra said. “So you make their favorite foods and you celebrate life for what it was.” 

MAS collaborated with the Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA) and Campus Ministry to set up the ofrenda, which was located in Maloney Hall for four days until it was moved to Gasson Hall on Wednesday.

“OLAA is the organization of Latin American affairs here on campus, and so there’s a lot of Mexican people and people of Mexican heritage that are a part of that club,” Garcia Busa said. “And they were interested, as well as the campus ministry, in putting up an Ofrenda because it’s tied to religion to Christianity as well. Those aspects really pushed us to partner with OLAA and Campus Ministry.” 

MAS, OLAA, and Campus Ministry chose to honor three groups through the Ofrenda—those who have lost their lives to police brutality, victims of femicide in Latin America, and those who have died from COVID-19. 

Garcia Busa said Day of the Dead is significant because of how it celebrates the continuation of life after death.

“It’s called the Day of the Dead because we will try to invite them more than back to life, in a sense, and so that’s why it’s a celebration,” she said. “It’s very much a mourning event too, you have these offerings and pictures, but it’s celebration because life continues after death.”

Featured Image by Caroline Cannon / For The Heights

November 7, 2021