On Saturday, Oct. 19 at 2 p.m., the Roswell Public Library is hosting Saturday STEM, a series of science activities designed to strengthen STEM concepts in children.
These engaging experiments will be led by Peggy Bohlin, a teacher liaison for the Space Foundation, president of the Roswell Astronomy Club and Roswell Junior Galaxy Club. This month, kids will learn the physics of how planes fly by building their own.
This program is free to attend and no registration is required. For more information, you can call 575-622-7101, visit the website at http://roswell-nm.gov/405 and like us on Facebook.
by Debra Thomas
Tech Services Supervisor
Dia de los Muertos — an invitation from the living to the dead to return, share a feast with them, and reunite family and community — is practiced throughout Mexico and other areas. “The Day of the Dead (A Pictorial Archive of Dia de los Muertos)” by Jean Moss explains the history of the celebration, the customs and practices, the attitude toward death, and the complex art that has developed from this holiday.
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Customs vary from urban areas to rural and region to region. During this time, altars are created in the main room of a home. The altars can be dedicated to all in the family who have passed, with separate altars for adults and children, or can be dedicated specifically to someone who has passed recently. Altars are decorated with papel picados and flowers, candles to light the way for returning souls, photographs of the deceased, beloved objects to help them feel at home, and marigold petals are scattered from the altar to the door and out into the street, possibly even to a nearby cemetery to create a path for the spirits to find their way home. Saints, in particular, the Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and others watch over the altar during this holiday. Nov. 1 is the day when the children return, and Nov. 2 is the day for returning adults.
There is a wonderful history section included in the preface of the book, detailing the origin of the holiday, the way different regions celebrate, whether less devout and solemn or more raucous and festive as a way of remembering the dead more than communicating with them, and also when and how attitudes evolved over the years. The international fascination with Day of the Dead has brought greater prosperity to some Mexican communities and artisans who create objects associated with the rituals. The remainder of the book is lavishly illustrated with 187 multi-character prints drawn from a variety of authentic sources, including works by Jose Guadalupe Posada, Mexico’s highly acclaimed Calaveras (skeleton) graphic artist.
“Coco” is a Disney movie highlighting the mysteries and traditions of Dia de los Muertos. In the movie, a magical incident takes young Miguel to the Land of the Dead, where he embarks on a journey with Dante, a street dog with hidden depths who is also an animal spirit guide. Filled with treacherous twists and turns, the movie sparkles with color, artistic beauty, humor and abiding familial love and tradition. The library also offers “Coco” in book form, an essential guide to the premise behind the movie, which even includes a section on spirit guides, the spectacular, wildly beautiful animals that guide souls on their journeys.
Another excellent book for this holiday, “Day of the Dead” by Allen Weller features clip art for machine embroidery and includes a disc with 88 royalty-free designs for you to utilize on shirts, hats, etc. and can be found in the Adult Non-fiction section under 746.44028 W458d.