EL DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS

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Seven Arrows is committed to deeply, meaningfully, and authentically exposing our entire community to the cultures and traditions of other countries through our global festivals. The first staple of the year brings to life the rigor of our Spanish program integrated with language, literature, and poetry; fine art; music; dance; dramatic performance; and much more. El Diá de los Muertos is a colorful and happy holiday that celebrates and honors the dead and our ancestors. Though people in other countries may remember their dead with grief and solemnity, those who celebrate the Day of the Dead commemorate the legacy of family members who have passed and view death as a natural phenomenon, an expected part of the wondrous cycle of life.

Students make meaningful connections with the richness of the world around them through full immersion in the arts and discussions that generate critical thinking. Integration and joyful hands-on learning let them delve into the significance of this important holiday, celebrated in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.

They also deeply explore the critical questions at the source of cultural histories: What is the essence of these cultural practices? What is the history of the people and places where these practices originated? How do cultures and customs influence and relate to one another in the past and today (i.e. globalization, colonization)? For instance, why is El Diá de los Muertos celebrated in the Philippines but not in Colombia? What are the common threads and what are the differences among Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, and Argentina? What common denominators might we find in dance, food, festivities, family dynamics, traditions, and language?

With the help of our specialty departments, students manifest the ethos of cultures through their performances. You may wonder why dance is such a significant part of what we do at Seven Arrows. Aside from the obvious benefits of physical and mental creativity and self-expression, dance, regardless of the genre or form, is a universal language that breaks down barriers between cultures. It is also an incredibly powerful communicator of cultural roots and expressions of what communities live for.

Staying true to how cultural practices unfold in their places of origin is key. For this reason, our street fiesta mirrors the festivities in Latin American neighborhoods: We bring food, music, and dance to the streets and invite the community. The actual day of the festival is an authentic Mexican/Latin celebration in which children and attending family members are treated to traditional music and Mexican “Pan de Muertos.”

Every Seven Arrows student has been working hard on various visual and performing art pieces that will be shown throughout the day. Please join us for this beautiful global cultural celebration!

To learn more about the pedagogy of El Día de los Muertos at Seven Arrows, read this Eye on Our Vision blog post >

Adjusted Schedule for El Día de los Muertos Festival on Friday, November 4

All students to arrive by 8:00am

Lower School performers to arrive in costume with a change of uniform clothing to wear following the performance*

Lower School Performance (K – Grade 2) | 8:15 to 10:00am

Noon dismissal for all students (no aftercare)

Please note that La Cruz Drive will be closed to traffic from 4:00 to 11:00pm

Upper School students to arrive in costume by 6:10pm with a change of clothing to wear following the performance*

Upper School Performance (Grades 3 – 6) | 6:30 to 8:00pm

Street Fiesta on La Cruz Drive | 8:15 to 10:00pm – Let us know if you’re coming to the Street Fiesta >

Food and beverages from Frida Cuisine

Desserts and coffee from La Monarca Bakery

Music, art, and live entertainment

Alumni Open House and North Campus Photo Exhibition | 8:30pm

* please make sure your student turns in their costume at the end of the performance

To see the full costume guidelines for all performers, click here >

Parent Involvement Opportunities

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Our El Día de los Muertos festival is a celebration for the entire community – parents and students alike! Parents are welcome to participate in special song and dance performances as well as assist in the transformation of our campus. This year, our parents will be singing “Un Paso Hacia la Paz,” a song originally performed by over 60 Colombian singers that celebrate the country’s efforts and desire to accomplish everlasting peace. To participate or learn more about the song or dance parent performances, please contact Beatriz Llano and Andres Ospina at aospina@sevenarrows.org and bllano@sevenarrows.org.

If you are interested in getting your hands dirty and assisting in the artistic side of our festival, join us for a parent art workshop, held every Wednesday morning right after drop off in the North Campus art studio.