Education/Newsletter/September 2012/Day of the Dead Wiki Style at ITESM-Campus Ciudad de México

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Day of the Dead display with a Mexican Revolution theme in San Andrés Mixquic

Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos in Spanish) is a major celebration in Mexico. It has roots in both Catholicism and pre Hispanic beliefs, and unlike death rituals in some parts of the world, is not a somber occasion. Quite the opposite, it is when family and friends welcome the return of deceased relatives and friends with offerings of traditional foods and other treats and visits to clean and decorate graves. It can even include picnicking in the cemetery or spending the night there. The actual Day of the Dead is November 2 but many communities celebrate for three days, with each day dedicated to different classes of dead, such as deceased children, adults, saints, etc.

As traditions vary in the country and preparations occurs during the month of October, there are many aspects of this important holiday which lack photographs in Commons, especially local traditions and cultural events. October is Cultural Month in the ITESM school system and it is the beginning of Wiki Loves Libraries. To participate, the campus library director, Lourdes Epstein and Thelmadatter have arranged for a photography contest styles after Wiki Loves Monuments, to present the idea of working with Wikipedia to students and professors. There are three prizes: one for the best photo (the "wow" category), one for the photo of the most original theme and the third for the student who takes the most photos. The second and third categories were created for two reasons: 1) to allow students lacking expensive cameras and training a chance to win and 2) to encourage the documentation local traditions and events.

Uploads for the contest category [1] are accepted from 5 October to 5 November with prizes awarded on 15 November. Our judges include a director of the en:Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares a professional artist/writer and four professional photographers. The photos are to be uploaded here [2]