More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now central Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death.
It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate.
A ritual known today as Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the United States. Although the ritual has since been merged with Catholic theology, it still maintains the basic principles of the Aztec ritual, such as the use of skulls.
Today, people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls also are placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead.
Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of expression in many ways. Not only is it dedicated to remembering and honoring those that have passed before us, it's centrally focused on the artistic expression of the living through the creation of offerings, costumes, cooking, etc.
Crafting and handmade decorations have a long tradition in Day of the Dead celebrations. Instead of using store-bought decorations for your altar or party, simple crafts can make this Dia de los Muertos one to remember.
In celebration of all Hallo's eve, I am offering one of my Coloring page Sugar Skulls for any and all who would like to download and enhance with color. Perhaps add to your own alter honoring your ancestors. Enjoy and send me a pic, if you want to, I would love to post the colored images.