In various cultures around the world, the Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos (Spanish) is celebrated on November 1 and November 2. It corresponds with the Roman Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a national holiday. It is a day when families get together (such as the skeleton family in the above photograph – lol!).

Altars, such as this one, are built to commemorate dead family members ad friends. Serving as shrines, the altars hold skulls made of sugar and marigolds. Articles that belonged to the deceased, as well as their favorite foods, are then transported by families to grave sites where festivities follow.

Notice the glazed, textured bread – it is known as pan de muertos (literally translated as Bread of the Dead). During this holiday, large versions such as this one or mini versions of pan de muertos are found in bakeries all over Mexico.

Day of the Dead rituals go as far back as 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, to the pre-Hispanic era in Mexico. Skulls, which symbolized death and rebirth, were kept and displayed as trophies by indigenous peoples.

The above skulls are my own trophies which represent party-time – they’re filled with Tequila!

Ancient festivities and rituals, however, took place in August, the ninth month of the Aztec calendar. They were dedicated to the goddess of the dead or the modern-day Catrina.

Catrina is an upper-class skeleton woman – isn’t she sexy? There are many versions of her, as you can see.

This one is reminiscent of Twiggy – the famous 1960’s model – is she alive or is she remembered on Day of the Dead in Mexico?

Photograph credit ©Tomas Castelazo Commons/License CC-BY-SA-3.0

By far, my fav Catrinas are these two!
Which are your favorite sexy skeletons?

In honor of Mexico, its art, food and culture, I’ve posted a special recipe on this website – Mexican Pumpkin Treat. Find it in Recipe index, under Desserts, Creams & Sauces; and Vegetables.
Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

Text and Photographs of Skeleton Family, Altar, Skulls, Blue Catrina, Black-Haired Catrina and Mexican Pumpkin Treat ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real