The Day of the Dead, “Día de los Muertos”, is an important holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. On the Day of the Dead, the boundaries between life and death begin to blur as family and friends gather and celebrate their loved ones who have passed away, participating in a festival that has roots nearly 4000 years old. The celebration takes place on November 1 and November 2… it has nothing to do with Halloween!!!

Foremost, Día de los Muertos is a time of celebration. Although losing someone is undeniably a sombre and life-changing event, Día de Muertos provides people with the opportunity to rejoice in the living memories of their loved ones. The celebration serves as a positive affirmation of the cycle of life and death, allowing people to reconnect with the spirits of their loved ones on the Other Side.

Traditions connected with Día de los Muertos include building private altars called ofrendas, honouring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favourite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the Italian missionaries in the 17th century, how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Sugar skulls represent a departed soul, have the name written on the forehead and are placed on the home ofrenda to honour the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colourful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments. It is these amazing sugar skulls that are globally recognised as the symbol of Día de los Muertos!

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