Fillmore sixth-grader Daniela Mendoza, 13, has been celebrating her uncle's passing since she was in the second grade. Mendoza's portrait of a skull, complete with a jewel stone for a nose, is among the art work on display inside the mall.
“I tell my friends that when people die you celebrate the Day of the Dead,” she said.
Julienne Carnes, 7, a Fillmore second-grader, crafted a papier-mache mask complete with feathers and beads.
“I want to be an artist like my mom,” she said.
Although trick-or-treating has become more common on Dia de los Muertos, the holiday actually has nothing to do with Halloween, which is a Northern European tradition.
“Dia de los Muertos is about welcoming spirits of ancestors and family members; it's the one day you can build a shrine to a family member or cook their favorite food,” said Robert Ruiz, Plaza Mayor's marketing manager.
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