The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos)

What is the Day of the Dead?

The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos) is a 2,000+ year-old tradition of celebrating the lives of the deceased. It is celebrated in Mexico and is a rare holiday for celebrating death and life. 

When do the celebrations begin?

Celebrations for the Day of the Dead begin on November 2 and last for 2 days .  The following day is known as Dia de los Inocentes, during which the lives of deceased children are celebrated. The last day November 3 is All Souls Day, when adults who have passed on are remembered.

What is the celebration for?

The belief is during the celebration the participants dead relatives are actually present during the festivities. Early Mexicans beliefs were that the dead can travel back and forth between worlds. 

What is involved in the celebration?

The celebrations include altars that are decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers. Favourite foods and drinks and photos of the dearly departed are also included.  These offerings are believed to encourage visits from the land of the dead. The thought is the departed souls hear their prayers, smell their foods and join in the celebrations.

What are the sugar skulls?

The sugar skulls represented a departed soul and had the name written on the forehead. This was placed on the  gravestone to honour the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles. These sugar skulls can be decorated with icing, sequins, beads and if made according to the instructions can last up to 5 years.

Making your own skull

There are many ways to make a skull apart from a sugar skull.  This design is made by needle felting and then adding a circuit to make the lights light up. This the idea was designed on paper and then needle felted. The circuit was then added and a felt backing was added then sewn into place to complete the design.  If you decide to make your own skull design we would love to see it.

Felted skull with e-textiles

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