As you (should) know, Day of the Dead is approaching – the celebration in Mexico where people believe that souls return to earth. It’s said that at midnight on October 31st, the gates of heaven open and the spirits of the dead children are allowed to reunite with families. Then on the 2nd November the adult sprits return to earth, and partake in the festivities laid on for them.
One part of the celebration are the appearance of sugar skulls – those bright and colourful decorations that are now seen tattooed over many an arm. But what do they actually represent?
Well, people use sugar skulls to decorate the graves of their dead friends and relatives, but, unlike the Western interpretation of skulls being macabre, the Mexican approach is that they are joyous and celebratory. Authentic sugar skulls are indeed made out of sugar, and are further decorated with beads, fabrics, feathers and icing. The deceased’s name might be written on the forehead and then placed on the alter. Other accompaniments could be candles, marigolds (the flower of the dead) and food and drink, in order to tempt and guide the soul back to earth.
So there you have it – the reason Sugar Skulls are so important during Dia de los Muertos. Will you be painting your face and joining us for an El Camion party? We hope so!