Although the holiday name might suggest a morbid time, Day of the Dead is actually a time to celebrate life, not to mourn death. Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a two-day Mexican holiday when families remember those who have died. The belief is that on these days, the spirits of loved ones are allowed to connect again with their families. The first day (November 1st) is for children that have passed on, while the second day (November 2nd) is for adults.
Celebrations for Day of the Dead are generally festive, decorated with flowers, sugar skulls, and colorful decorations. Friends and family can get together to remember those who have passed, and support them on their spiritual journey.
If you’re looking to host a Day of the Dead party this year - or simply enjoy the beautiful decorations commonly used in these festivities - here are a few ideas to consider:
Create an Ofrenda: An ofrenda is an altar that is dedicated to the spirits of the dead. The altar is meant to welcome the deceased when they are allowed to return home. These altars are colorfully decorated with flowers, candles and photos. There are also offerings for the spirits to enjoy, which can include gifts and food. Generally, people leave toys for children and leave food, alcohol and favorite possessions for adults.
Don’t forget your Calaveras: Skulls and skeletons are often seen as decorations for the Day of the Dead. A decorative skull, calaveras are generally made with cane sugar and are decorated with icing, beads, hats, bows, feathers and more. When used as offerings, the name of the deceased is sometimes written on the forehead of the calavera.
Put on Some Makeup: In addition to decorating your place, many people participate in Day of the Dead celebrations by applying skull makeup to their faces. This is done to resemble the calaveras that can be found at most day of the dead celebrations.
These ideas will get you started, but don’t forget to add some more food and decorations to your party. Browse our selection of Day of the Dead decorations, invite family and friends over, and celebrate the lives of loved ones!