Dia de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated on November 1.The Day of the Dead is a holiday to remember loved ones by sharing a meal with them as one would when they were alive.Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores.Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life.During Dia de Los Muertos, small decorated sugar skulls are placed on the altars.
Traditional sugar skulls are made from a granulated white sugar mixture that is pressed into special skull molds. The sugar mixture is allowed to dry and then the sugar skull is decorated with icing, feathers, colored foil, and more.
There is nothing grim about these skulls; they are decorated with colorful edible paint, glitter, beads, and sport huge smiles.Sugar Skulls are part of the Ofrenda, a collection of offerings dedicated to the person being honored.A brightly colored oilcloth covers the table and on top of that sits a collection of photographs and personal items of the departed person. The lower portion of the altar is where the offerings are placed, from traditional Mexican cuisine to other items that represent the honored person’s particular tastes.All in all, the Day of the Dead celebrates life — the afterlife. And our connection to those who wait on the other side.