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Published on October 18th, 2012 | by Jane

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History of the Day of the Dead

Dressing up in costume and trick or treating isn’t the only thing people do on Halloween. Mexican culture is a whole different ballgame. On November 1st, which is All Saints Day, those who observe Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead in Spanish) will gather to celebrate the lives of people they’ve lost. Instead of being wary of spirits and trying to ward them off, Mexican culture embraces them.

It’s a very colourful event where people decorate altars with marigolds, sugar skulls (which we’ll learn to make!), and the favourite items and food of the people they are honouring.

These symbols, especially the ornate skulls are considered to be lucky. People will often tattoo themselves with these meaningful images to keep that luck with them all day long! Day of the Dead tattoos are super popular. Often people will choose a particular face (most often female) and change it up to match the colourful skulls, like these:

Or, if you wanted to go a less permanent route, you could simply carry around a doll of the dead, which is much less painful and much cheaper :)

(Cover photo by PRISARTS)

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