The Bass Harbor Memorial Library in Bernard will celebrate the Day of the Dead in October with several events for children, adults, and families. Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and some Central and South American countries, as well as in the United States. It coincides with several religious holidays, but these have melded with indigenous beliefs and practices and the result is a beautiful and meaningful celebration.
Beginning on October 25, the library welcomes the community to contribute to their ofrenda (or display) in their front reading room to honor and celebrate friends, family, and pets who are no longer with us. Traditional ofrendas incorporate loved ones’ pictures, favorite foods and drinks, trinkets or small objects. Stories, poems and other small notes are welcome. The ofrenda will be on display until November 5.
On Wednesday, October 26 from 3-4:30 the library will host a craft workshop where participants will learn more about the traditions and meanings of Day of the Dead and create some of their own crafts to celebrate: decorate sugarskulls and make paper marigolds.
On Thursday, October 27 at 6pm, the library will have a free animated Day of the Dead movie with traditional snacks.
Masks will be required at both events.
More Information about Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead:
Day of the Dead is a celebration and honoring of deceased ancestors, family, friends, and pets. By creating displays, called ofrendas (which means offerings) people believe the loved ones return in spirit to join in the festivities that are prepared for them in celebration. These displays are usually created at home and can be large and ornate, or small and simple, but all are beautiful! They are often decorated with candles, flowers, cut paper banners, fruits and nuts, plates of food, and loaves of bread. The weary spirits need lots of food, bottles of soda, hot cocoa and water. Often toys, candies and favorite items are left and handmade skeletons and sugar skulls provide a final touch. Many believe that happy spirits will provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their families.
After the festivities, families or even an entire town will parade to the cemetery to listen to music, eat, play cards and reminisce about their loved ones. This tradition keeps a community close. Day of the Dead is becoming very popular in the U.S. as more people bring their cultural heritage to their communities.