Day of the Dead: Sugar Skulls, & Marigolds
The Day of the Dead holiday in Mexico and other parts of Latin America is a mixture of Prehispanic and Christian religious ideas. The holiday is November 1 and the early morning of November 2, dates which correspond to the Catholic All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day .
This holiday is not a sad celebration. People anticipate that the souls of the people they loved will return to be with them and enjoy the pleasures of life with their family on this one night of the year. Favorite food and drinks are prepared for the departed loved ones. Pathways strewn with petals of fragrant Mexican cempasúchitl (marigold) flowers are constructed to lead the departed souls back to their homes and loved ones. Cemeteries are decorated with these flowers and lit with candles for the entire night.
It is said that death in traditional Mexican culture does not have the same meaning as it does among North Americans and Europeans. Death is feared and paid due respect, but it is thought to be an inevitable part of the natural cycle. Mexicans joke about death and amusing images appear in their art, literature, and music. Toys and candies made in the shapes of skulls and skeletons are common in this season; this is the source of the imagery of the colorful sugar skulls.
Combined with the colors of the marigolds, these sugar skull images are represented in our new journals and pewter jewelry.