Día de los Muertos: Family celebrates the holiday and importance of keeping the tradition alive

Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a Hispanic holiday celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2. Eyewitness News reporter Marc Cota-Robles talked with a local mom about how she celebrates the holiday and the importance of keeping the tradition alive for her children.

Janneth Barajas has celebrated Día de los Muertos her entire life.

"We have always done it for as long as I can remember, since I was a little girl," she said.

Her parents Cecilia and Martin Barajas immigrated to the U.S. from Michoacán, Mexico.

For the past few years, her father has been a focal point of her family's alter. He passed away in 2016.

"I thought my kids are so small, so we have to do something to keep his memory alive, so they could always remember him because the last thing I want is for them to forget him," Barajas said.

Janneth's family has kept everything as traditional as possible.

They use personal items, even foods that honor and remind the family of their loved ones. Always included are marigolds and pan de muerto... bread of the dead.

"We laugh, we cry, we get nostalgic. I believe that's how we celebrate them by reliving our memories with them," she added.

It all leads up to Nov. 2, the day they believe their loved ones cross over.

"We have a party, we all come dance, cry, have fun and celebrate," Barajas said.

Janneth hopes this is a tradition her own daughters will carry on.

"Not only do you remember your loved ones, you bond with your family," she said.
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