Dia De Los Muertos

By: Bianka Montalvo

Day of The Dead (Dia De Los Muertos)

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. 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 the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the Christian triduum of Hallowmas: All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Sugar Skulls

What are they?

Sugar skulls are exactly that- skull-shaped sugar. 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. While the ingredients of Sugar Skulls are edible (with the exception of the non-edible decorations you may add) the skulls are generally used for decorative purposes. However some small sugar skulls that are made with basic icing are intended to be consumed.

Where were the first Sugar Skulls made?
Dia de los Muertos was an Aztec ritual that celebrated the lives of those who have deceased. The Spaniards who invaded Mexico tried to eliminate this seemingly offensive month-long holiday with no success. Dia del los Muertos was eventually merged with the Catholic All-Saints day and All-Souls day on November 1st and 2nd in an effort to make the holiday more Christian.