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Colby-Sawyer College to Host Day of the Dead, a Mexican Tradition that Honors Family, Friends and Heroes of the Past

NEW LONDON, N.H., Oct. 26, 2010 – Colby-Sawyer College will host a festive Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, in which altars are built and traditional foods are prepared to honor family, friends and cultural icons who have passed on to the next realm.

The celebration, sponsored by the Cultural Events Committee, will take place Tuesday, Nov. 2, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Wheeler Hall at Ware Campus Center. Members of the college and area communities are invited to participate in this festive celebration. Admission is free.

Annually, Mexico celebrates Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, on Nov. 2, but preparations for the holiday begin a week in advance. The Day of the Dead marks a time during which Mexican people traditionally believe communication is possible between the living and the dead. While the event may seem like a mournful holiday to people of other cultures, it is a cause for joyful celebration of departed friends and family among Mexican families. Families cook aromatic foods and create altars for the dead, which are traditionally decorated with flowers, candles and decorative skulls.

Colby-Sawyer College will celebrate the holiday with Mexican food, Latin music and altars that honor loved ones with photographs, foods and memorabilia. Student groups, individuals, community members and college offices are encouraged to come together and take part in the Day of the Dead Altar Competition. Groups will compete by building traditional Mexican-style altars to the deceased, and prizes include: first prize, $125; second prize, $75; third prize, $50. These prizes will be awarded based on creativity and the traditional Mexican elements used in the construction of the altar. Traditional Day of the Dead bread will be provided to all of the altars.

All who attend the celebration are encouraged to bring a Mexican/Latino dish to share, as eating food with living friends while honoring those who have passed is an important part of Dia de los Muertos. Those interested in taking part in the altar building competition or contributing a dish are encouraged to contact Randy Hanson or Sharon Williamson.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000