Sigma Pi Alpha hosts its annual ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ event

Event will be held in the University Union Ballroom Thursday from 6-9 p.m.

Kelly Kiernan

Bridget Duran

Sigma Pi Alpha, a Latina sorority at Sacramento State, will host their annual Dia De Los Muertos event, including an altar-building competition, Thursday, in the University Union Ballroom.

Dia De Los Muertos is a three-day Mexican holiday that lasts from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 and is a way for loved ones to gather and celebrate the lives of their deceased relatives.

To honor the deceased, offerings of personal belongings, or ofrendas, are placed on an altar along with photos and the favorites foods of the deceased. Common decorations include skulls, or calaveras, usually made of sugar or clay, and Aztec marigolds.

Giselle Diana Rojas, social work major and Sigma Pi Alpha sister, is one of the members organizing this event. She said the purpose of the event is to “help students and other organizations become aware of other Greek cultures on campus.”

“It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get together and have fun,” Rojas said.

Dances such as folklorico, Aztec traditional dance and live music will be performed. Sigma Pi Alpha will also provide free food.

David Cervantes, criminal justice major, said he is proud that his culture celebrates past relatives. He said it helps him remember the ones he misses and know the ones he did not get to meet. 

“Death is a sad thing, but it’s a reminder of what I’m living for,” Cervantes said. 

Caterin Reyes Velasquez, criminal justice and Sigma Pi Alpha sister, said a lot of time and dedication goes into planning Dia De Los Muertos. 

“Once the event is over, we have about a month to rest. Once that’s over, we have to start planning for next year’s,” Velasquez said. 

Sigma Pi Alpha hosted last year’s event off-campus. Velasquez said hosting the event on-campus makes it easier for members to transport decorations and for students to attend the event. 

“Last year’s construction made it difficult for us to communicate and plan,” she said. 

Velasquez said planning for the event ranges from finding dancers and musicians to requesting a room to stage the event. 

Stephanie Mariano, criminal justice major, said she celebrates Dia De Los Muertos every year with her immediate family and that her favorite part of Dia De Los Muertos is setting up the altar. 

Mariano said she likes to buy her relatives’ favorite candies as an ofrenda. It makes her feel she is still giving them something as if they’re still here today.

“I discovered new sweets that I didn’t think I would like because of them,” Mariano said. 

For more information on Sigma Pi Alpha’s event, visit the sorority’s Instagram page