If you’re like me and you want your Halloween celebrations to last a little longer, you may want to observe the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. This holiday runs from October 31st to November 2nd and is a celebration of those who have died. The ritual is meant to help relatives and loved ones pass on to the next realm. But for us outsiders, it’s a cool ghoul celebration with lots of creepy skulls.
The images of sugar skulls are often seen in Mexican culture and are one of the greatest traditions of this holiday. In case you didn’t know (because I didn’t), they were called sugar skulls because they were originally made out of sugar and decorated with frosting. That’ll keep the kids awake and energetic for weeks. But these days, the skulls are either drawings or ceramics.
There are Day of the Dead celebrations all over the world. And though many of us remember the big Day of the Dead parade in the opening of the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, there actually was no such event. Until now. The movie generated such interest in the event, that the powers that be have decided to start having a similar parade. And so far, it’s been a success.
As with many holidays, every family has a different way of celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Traditionally, an altar is set up at the gravesite of departed family. On that alter is placed memorabilia, food and drink that the dearly departed liked. The hope is that their spirits will return to visit, and maybe be a conduit for their prayers. These altars can also be set up at homes.
Families spend time telling stories about the deceased. It isn’t all doom and gloom (if at all) and most of it is a fun celebration of lives that have passed.
The colorful skulls and skeletons that are most prominent at this time of year are also considered symbols of good luck, believe it or not. That is why you will see so much art portraying these images. People want ornaments, as well as tattoos with Dia de los Muertos style skulls and skeletons.
There’s no need to go all crazy and get a Dia de los Muertos tattoo. (Unless, of course, you really want one. Who am I to stop you?) You can simply wear a t-shirt with these images on it. I’ve hunted some of the coolest looking sugar skulls and skeletons. But wait! There’s more! I also found some awesome Dia de los Muertos mash-ups. A few of your favorite characters in sugar skull form.
Hope these bring you good luck!