The Day of the Dead is an important holiday in Mexican culture. If you are familiar with this holiday, think about a Day of the Dead tattoo. It will remind you to pray for friends and family members who have passed away.
Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) is a two day holiday that reunites the living and dead. People celebrate it on the 1st and 2nd of November. Families create ofrendas (Offerings) to honor their departed family members that have passed. At first believers decorate these altars with bright yellow marigold flowers and photos of the departed. And then they add the favorite foods and drinks of the dead ones. People believe the offerings encourage visits from the land of the dead as the departed souls hear their prayers, smell their foods and join in the celebrations!
Day of the Dead is a rare holiday for celebrating death and life. It is unlike any holiday where mourning is exchanged for celebration. It’s because in Mexican culture, death is part of the cycle of life, rather than as the end.
The Day of the Dead tattoo is especially a very personal way to honor your loved ones. It can also be a way to honor your heritage.
The Day of the dead tattoos usually include images of La Catrina, a beautiful woman in the makeup of sugar skulls, representing death. They can also include cheerful, decorated skulls or skeletons.
The painting of the woman’s face is an image of the calavera mask that is sometimes worn during the Day of the Dead celebration to help honor the spirits. These larger tattoo designs apply the typical sugar skull visage to women with long hair or a scarf framing their face. For example roses, leaves, and spider webs are often included to enhance the theme of death and mourning. In some cases, the ominous tone is strengthened by the addition of a skeleton or ghostly figure in place of the woman.
The colors used in painting the faces of people celebrating the Day of the Dead or the tattoos representing this day also have meaning. Here are some of meanings behind these images and colors:
- Purple- is a color of suffering, mourning and grief;
- Yellow – represents togetherness and unity. It is the color of the sun which provides warmth and happiness;
- Pink- is a color that represents happiness and positivity;
- White – represents purity, hope and the spirit;
- Red – represents life, love and blood.