On Thursday, Nov. 1, the horticulture department incorporated a Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme into its weekly flower sale in the Student Center.
Dia De Los Muertos is a holiday that originated in Mexico; it celebrates deceased loved ones through different traditions, festivities and altars. The two days of celebration are also most notably accompanied with different masks makeup, and costumes worn by those celebrating.
Christen Hollingesworth is a horticulture major and, ran the sale that happens every Thursday. Hollingesworth said she always tries to include holidays in her approach to the design and presentation of the flowers, and was happy to embrace this one.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge all the holidays, not just capitalist holidays, and I know that Day of the Dead is big and there’s a large Latin population here,” Hollingesworth said. “I thought it’d be important to highlight that and honor them in a very respectful and beautiful way.”
During the event, bright marigolds sat on top of black table clothes and served as the main flower, placed on two tables and an altar, at the forefront of the colorful event. While Hollingesworth’s conception had many beautiful aspects to it, she said the altar was her favorite piece in the set up.
“I think it’s beautiful, I’m really excited that I did these garlands, and the candles add a lot, I think it’s just the colors…I definitely have to say this focal point of everything,” Hollingesworth said.
Rosie Hernandez, a horticulture major, lent a helping hand and gave insight on the significance of the altar.
“You put up an altar with pictures of people significant to you, and what that does, it allows that dead person to come and visit you,” Hernandez said. “Growing up here in the United States, my family didn’t really celebrate it, but when I moved to Mexico and lived out there, it became a big part of my life because every year in my school we would get together and create a huge altar for all of the people in our community.”
Marigolds are another essential piece to celebrating Dia De Los Muertos. While the sale was comprised of other flowers as well, such as carnations and celosia, marigolds were the main focus.
“They’re African marigolds, I know in Mexico we call them Cempasúchitl, so I feel like they’re a big part of Day of the Dead,” Hernandez said. “Especially that orange color, that’s so significant to Day of the Dead.”
The Dia De Los Muertos-themed flower sale is one of many sales to come. The money earned from the sales makes its way back to the Horticulture department and helps funds their program. Hollingesworth and the Horticulture program hold weekly sales to display their new arrangements every Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Student Center.