Day of the Dead has come and gone, but it’s never too early to start planning your Day of the Dead party for next year. The first thing you need to know is that Day of the Dead is not the same thing as Halloween. It is a beloved Mexican holiday the day after Halloween during which people celebrate the lives of their ancestors. No, you shouldn’t throw a Day of the Dead themed Halloween party next year, and no you shouldn’t paint your face like a sugar skull for Halloween next year. But if you want an excuse to throw another party the day after Halloween, Day of the Dead is a great holiday to celebrate.
During Day of the Dead, an altar called an ofrenda is erected. Pictures of loved ones adorn the altar, as well as their favorite foods and items, and incense burns serving to beckon them back home to celebrate. The altar is decorated brightly and in a lively way, and music is also lively and uplifting. Remember, it’s not a funeral, it’s a party to celebrate the lives of those who went before you.
So if it’s a celebration, what’s up with sugar skulls then? During the Day of the Dead, skulls are made out of bolded sugar, decorated, and the names of ancestors written on the forehead. Party goers often paint their faces with skull makeup in bright colors. Skulls are a symbol of death and reincarnation. This is done to signify that we are all equal in the end.
Marigolds and bright colors are other essential elements of a Day of the Dead celebration. Because it is a celebration of life and not a time to mourn, bright colors are preferred. Orange marigolds are said to be sacred, and their scent is said to beckon the dead to the ofrenda. Orange marigolds are an essential and beautiful part of your Day of the Dead decor.
Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life it’s easy to forget our ancestors, but it is often their hard work and sacrifice that has gotten us to where we are today. What better way to honor them than with a party full of their favorite foods and music? Learn more about how to throw a proper Day of the Dead party from this infographic. You might be surprised just how much you don’t know about this popular holiday celebration!