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Dio De Los Muertos; the Day of the Dead

Published On: Oct 31 2013 08:57:35 PM CDT
Shasta College students celebrate the Day of the Dead

Shasta College student Anna Mejia paints her face to honor her grandmother's memory.

REDDING, Calif. -

Shasta College brought a long-time tradition to life today, celebrating the Day of the Dead.

The holiday is primarily a Mexican tradition, and can run as long as three days: All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day.

Students took their history lesson out of the classroom and onto the campus by painting faces, making decorations, and sharing the cultural celebration with unknowing inquirers.

From the outside it may seem like all fun and games, but for some, it has a very special meaning.

"It means a lot because my great grandma used to celebrate it all the time in Mexico," Anna Mejia said, "it honors a family tradition."

Mejia, a Shasta College student, said her grandmother would put rose petals on the floor, in a path from the graves of loved ones leading to the home.

"That way it could help the spirit find its way to the house."

Spanish instructor Ann Sittig helped put the event into action.

Sittig says it's all about remembering those who have passed on.

"In certain villages in Mexico they would go to the cemetery and clean, and they would take an offering of food and drinks and things that those people enjoyed during their lifetime. They believe that the souls come back and they spend time with their loved ones again."