Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos or "Day of the Dead" is a mexican celebration honoring those that have passed on. Its celebrated around Oct 31st to November 2nd and is related to the Catholic All Saints Day and All Souls Day. But these days are for celebration and playfulness, not of darkness or sadness. Here's a little blurb from Wikipedia:
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.
I have been fascinated by the artwork of Dia de los Muertos for many years. And I've finally gotten around to making some of the essential decorations, Sugar Skulls!
These skulls are used to decorate for the holiday and are used on altars that are dedicated to ancestors. In the homes, family members honor their deceased with ofrendas or offerings which may consist of photographs, bread, other foods, flowers, toys and other symbolic offerings.
Below are some pictures of the 1st stage of my sugar skulls. If you want to make some for yourself, check out this website, Mexican Sugar Skulls. I have prepared the sugar and molded it into skull shapes. Now it must dry for 12 hours. I will then prepare a "glue" to attach the back of the skull to the front.
For more info about Day of the Dead celebrations, check out these links:
- Day of the Dead sayings
- Musings from Ladi Loera, day of the dead artist (My fav!!)
- Folk art gallery
- Article by Judy King
- Masquefaire - etsy page with some amazing day of the dead masks
- Just do a google search, and you'll come up with some really awesome pages.