Get ready for some spirited fun this October – because Dead Week at Otis is sure to liven up campus!

The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and fondly remember those who have passed away. Traditions include caring for graves of family members, building elaborate altars with favorite foods and photos of loved ones who have passed, as well as celebrating the time spent alongside them with lively dances and music. Colorful masks, bright costumes, paper maché puppets, and sugary skulls are also commonly associated with the festivities.

              Colorful skulls and drinks decorate this Seuss-themed altar made by Otis students... which even includes green eggs and ham!

This year at Otis, we are going to have our own week-long Day of the Dead celebration, starting Monday, October 28th. Check out the fun activities we have planned this week for a screamin’ good time!

Day of the Dead altar put together by Honors Cultural Studies students.

Monday, Oct 28
An altar will be made to our beloved pets in front of the Otis garage. Anyone can bring copies of animal photos and offerings such as your pet’s favorite snacks or toys to decorate the altar that will be staying up throughout the week.

Tuesday, Oct 29
Outside at Otis around 11:15 AM, we will hold our own zombie dance practice! Anyone who wants to learn Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller dance is welcome. Additionally, there will be a ghost story walk through campus, where students are free to tell localized spooky legends about spaces at Otis. Join, if you dare!

Wednesday, Oct 30
Put on your best tattered and bloodied shirt – today will be dress like a zombie day at Otis! There will be a zombie walk over to the Farmers Market at 11:15 AM. Surely you’ll be able to grab something bloody to munch on as ghostly music fills the campus grounds! Then at 7 PM, a bus to the Getty Auditorium will take you to a panel discussion called “Why do we need Saints?”, where you can view Otis student-created Day of the Dead altars and receptions. The bus will return at the end of the session at 9 PM.

Thursday, Oct 31
From 11 AM to 1 PM, it will be a Halloween fiesta! There will be costume and pumpkin decorating contests, divination, voodoo doll making, ghoulish snacks to eat and more! Also at 11:45 AM in the tent, master storyteller Michael McCarty will be sharing ghost stories!

Friday, Nov 1
Today’s theme will be the opening to the beyond – and everyone will get to participate in chalk drawings on the sidewalk! Graffiti and skeletons will decorate the parking garage wall, and lively Aztec dancing music will echo throughout the campus. Additionally, we will be having skeleton face-paintings!

Yet another Otis student-created Day of the Dead altar. 

This week will also be a great time to go and check out the new exhibit in the Ben Maltz Gallery: Tapping the 3rd Realm.  It is an exhibition spanning two galleries and college campuses (Otis & LMU) which will explore the spiritual, metaphysical and alchemical in contemporary art.
                                    Friends and family members gather to traverse the Otis student-created Cat In the Hat altar.

The Day of the Dead is a festive and meaningful time that provides an opportunity for Otis students to have a great time, learn a thing or two and simply be a community.  The Liberal Arts and Sciences Department and Student Activities are supporting the very first Day of the Dead Week at Otis. So students, come and have some spooky fun!



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