Dunedin pupil Sofia Barriga (12) lights a candle to
celebrate the dead in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Peter
The dead were celebrated by a Hispanic group on Saturday
to keep the language and culture of Latin America alive in
Grupo Hispano Otago president Catherine Barriga said El Dia
de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead - was an annual
celebration in many Latin American countries.
About 60 members of the group honoured dead friends and
family members by building and decorating an alter at St
Francis Xavier School.
The alter was adorned with paper flowers, photos of the dead
and their favourite food and drink, including a bottle of
tequila and pan de muerto - the bread of the dead, she said.
Many families in Latin America would decorate graves with
flowers and gifts before picnicking at the grave site to dine
with the dead, she said.
The day was a way to retain their cultures after the
introduction of Spanish Catholicism, she said.
Member Carolina Gomez said this was the inaugural celebration
by the group and was a way to keep the language and culture
of Latin America alive in Dunedin.