If you’re looking for a colourful theme for your Halloween celebrations this year, then we suggest a Mexican Day of the Dead party!
What is it?
The Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, is a Mexican holiday. Family and friends gather to remember and pray for friends and family members who have died. It’s a multi-day celebration that is associated with October 31st, November 1st and 2nd. The timing coincides with the Christian festivals of All Saint’s Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day.
Traditions connected with the holiday include:
- Building private altars called ofrendas
- Honoring the dead with sugar skulls (calaveras), marigolds and the favorite food & drink of the dead
- Leaving gifts, photos, and possessions at gravesides
The festival originated with the Aztecs about 3,000 years ago. They believed that shedding tears for the deceased would make their journey to the next world more difficult. Instead, the Aztecs celebrated the lives of the dead and welcomed the return of their spirits once a year.
Here are some of our tips for a successful Day of the Dead party:
Decorate with traditional, symbolic décor. String banners of colourful paper cut into elaborate designs – the Mexican art of paper-cutting is easy but very effective. Typically, the designs are cut from tissue paper and represent the fragility of life.
Use fresh or fake marigolds – we like paper flowers – to make wreaths or place in pots around the room.
Place candles around the venue, they act as guiding lights to lead the spirits back to the living.
Sugar Skulls are the most iconic Day of the Dead symbol; they represent death and rebirth and are placed on altars as offerings to the deceased. Be sure to incorporate them into your decorations, replicas are readily available in all sizes.
Add more color to your celebration with illooms Day of the Dead LED light up balloons:
Stock up on traditional Mexican foods like Pan de Muerto and tamales, or keep it light and modern with tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole.
Serve Mexican spirits like tequila and mezcal, for margaritas or a Mexican-inspired cocktail. Alternatively, stock up on Mexican beer.
Day of the Dead costumes consist primarily of black clothes or a skeleton t-shirt. Add a brightly colored sash and pin flowers to your clothes and in your hair. Yellow, orange, red, green and blue are traditional colors.
Recreate the iconic sugar skulls using face paint. Start by painting your face white. Outline the bone around your eyes and paint the entire area black, including your eyelids. You should also paint the tip of your nose black. Paint your lips white and use a black eyeliner or face paint to create line stitched over them to look like teeth. Women can paint flower petals around the eyes.
Day of the Dead tattoos are also available if you need a short cut!
P.S. If you’re celebrating this Halloween, we would love to see your illooms pictures. Either let us know in the comments below or head on over to our ‘Upload Your Photos‘ page where you can share photos of your Halloween party ideas with all of the illooms community.