MUW students, faculty fly kites to celebrate Day of the Dead

MUW has been celebrating the Day of the Dead since 2015.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A long-standing Day of the Dead tradition is to make Guatemalan kites to honor those who have passed on.

Alexander Stelioes-Wills made his kite to honor his friend Mark Wood, who recently passed away.

“I thought ‘Well, that’s probably who I should make my kite for because many of the kites are made as memorials to deceased loved ones.’ So, I thought that’s what I should do,” Stelioes-Wills said.

Dr. Beverly Joyce said the kites are a way of communicating with their loved ones.

“The Mayans believed there were evil spirits disturbing the spirit world, and Flying the kites distracted those spirits so that the deceased wouldn’t be disturbed,” Joyce said.

Professor Erinn Holloway said many may think of it as a fearful day, but it is a reunion.

Holloway said her first Day of the Dead celebration was in 1999 in a small town outside of Mexico City.

“I hesitated at first, and one lady said, ‘What’s wrong? I said, I’m not from here I’m from the United States, and I feel like this is a celebration of the Mexican culture, and she said, ‘Have you ever had anyone in your family pass away or a loved one,’ and I said yes, and she said, ‘this celebration is for you too,'” Holloway said.

People decorate their departed loved ones’ graves with flowers, food, and all the person’s favorite items, and all the decorations represent different aspects of the day.

“The papel picado, that represents the wind when it flows, the living know that their departed have come back,” Holloway said.

Holloway said this is a highly anticipated day.

“The Mexicans have a good attitude when it comes to death,” Holloway said. “We’re all going to die, so why not celebrate those who have passed on.”

MUW has been celebrating the Day of the Dead since 2015.

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