Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead celebration at my Uni

This is one of the more morbid kind of festivals where folks come together to celebrate (or mourn) the ones that are dead and gone. This is traditionally a Mexican holiday dating wayyyyyy back to pre-Columbian cultures first initiated as the death ritual by the Aztecs.  It is celebrated for two days from 1st to 2nd of November, where the 1st of November honours the death of infants and children, hence named Día de los Inocentes meaning "Day of the Innocents" or Día de los Angelitos (Day of the little angels). And the 2nd of November commemorates the death of the adults, named Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos which means "Day of the Dead" in mexican.

The most common symbol for the holiday is the skull. Folks wear skull masks or make up called calacas, often decorated in bright colours and pretty prints, during the celebration. I personally love these skulls as they are both pretty and cool.

These decorated skull masks have become quite popular with the urban youth, where you can see them wearing especially the make up for any where from summer festivals to halloween nights. You can also definitely see the influence in the current pop culture such as in the video "Prayer in C" by Lily Wood and the Prick (Robin Schulz remix). I personally love these beautiful skull make ups that can be decorated in all sorts of designs and colours, and the best part? You can NEVER go wrong!


For many many more of such fabulous ideas check this page out.

Here's mine that I did for my 1st halloween party this year that happened to fall right at the same time as the Day of the Dead festival:

...and I LOVE it <3 <3 <3

I did mine in about 15-20 minutes with a bit of help from my fabulous girl-friend Sam. For those of you looking for more detailed tutorial, here is a youtube video you could follow for tips:

Treat Time

Now, what is a festival without treats?

One of the most popular food items of the holiday are the sugar skulls that are offered as a gift to both dead and the living, decorated in colourful icing with the recipient's name inscribed on the skull's forehead. Also with these sugar skulls are offered the gifts that the dead ones generally enjoyed when alive such as beer, coffee, playing cards, etc.

These sugar skulls are edible and traditionally if offered to a living person, it must be consumed by the recipient. However, apparently due to all the handling while making these skulls, plus the amount of sugar in the ingredients, it is more advisable not to eat them but rather keep them as decorations since they can last up to 1 year or more without spoil.

Here is a simple recipe for these lovely sugar skulls:
  • Sugar granules
  • Meringue powder
  • Water
  • Coloured icing
For every one cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of meringue powder must be used to ensure proper reinforcement. Once the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add 1 teaspoon of water for every 1 cup of the dry mixture.

Form into skulls, either flat like cookies or proper 3D skull prototypes. Let dry for 3-4 hours depending on the size. Decorate with icing and stick or write the name of the recipient on the skull's forehead... All done...

You can also check out a recipe video here.

Here's one that I made (just decorated a pre-made skull) for someone very close to me...

Well, I could talk on and on about it if I want. And I am always always always inspired by anything sugar skull to be honest. So, may be next post, it will be a DIY, who knows... Stay tuned...

Until then,

Loads of love...