DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (Day of the Dead) Art has a strong following and can be seen in a broad range of mediums from Tattoos to jewelry to IPhone covers. Surprizingly the popularity is very strong in the United States amongst people not culturally connected, however Mexicans and most people who have traveled to Mexico are the largest group to appreciate Day of the Dead art.
Even though the dates of November 1 and 2 are so close to Halloween and the symbols are similar there is no connection. The date are the same as the Catholic holidays of All Saints and All Souls, this was a plan. The Spaniards moved the Day of the Dead celebration to coincide with the Catholic Holidays in hopes of blending the cultures.
The most popular Day of the Dead art are the Skulls and Skeletons. The Skulls are presented as candies made of sugar
There is a very comprehensive website called Mexican sugarskulls. It includes most of the more popular art from the Skeleton Minatures –small vignettes of Skeletons in everyday life settings, from hair dressers to dentists, one of the more popular vignettes are the wedding couples and of course the famous Catrina – a very elegant lady skeleton usually wearing a large brimmed hat and very elegant dress.
The Ofrendas or Alters to the dead are a very signifigant part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration and seen in the Skeleton art and also many of the decorations from the Sugar Skulls to the delicate Papel Picado (meaning perforated paper). Papel Picado is thin pieces of brightly colored tissue paper is cut to show the popular images of Day of the Dead, usually Skeletons, but in whimsical settings such as riding a bike. In Puerto Vallarta Mexico you will find that Halloween is almost non existent, but Day of the Dead is very high profile, from decorations in stores to the many Ofrendas infront of homes, the city hall and near the Market. I love to visit the graveyard at this time of year, on the street near the entrance to the graveyard there are street vendors selling the traditional flowers Marigolds and a red flower usually known as Lions paw, decorative items for the graves and of course food and drinks.
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