Studying Symbols: Sugar Skull
Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are rapidly approaching, so we wanted to get in the mood with sugar skulls! Despite what some people think, sugar skulls are not scary or spooky. They’re a prominent part of Dia de los Muertos.
Dia de los Muertos (which translates to Day of the Dead) is a holiday that originated in central & southern Mexico and is celebrated October 31-November 2. It is meant to honor deceased loved ones and is based around the belief that on those nights the souls of loved ones can come down from heaven and reunite with their families. People decorate colorful ofrendas (altars) with pictures of their deceased loved ones, flowers, candles, food, and…sugar skulls!
Sugar skulls debuted in Mexico around since the 17th century. At that time, sugar was readily accessible and inexpensive, making it an easy option for families to decorate with. Now days not all sugar skulls are made of sugar, but they are all still decorated brightly with a lot of color, representing the life of the loved ones they represent. Sugar skulls typically represent a deceased loved one and may be placed on the ofrenda or at the cemetery.
In addition to the traditional sugar skulls, you can now see sugar skulls represented in fashion, home decor, tattoos, and even beads & charms at Bead World. Pick up a cute sugar skull bead or charm for yourself this year to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.