Decorate Cookies for Day of the Dead

dodcookieMy sister would love these. She decorated her whole face as a skull last year for The Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos). They actually call it the sugar skull. You have probably seen it somewhere by now.

The Day of the Dead is not about Halloween or zombie movies. It is a real event in Mexico, a long time tradition.

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated October 31, November 1st and November 2nd in connection with the Christian days for All Hallows Eve, All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.

Family gather to remember and pray for deceased friends and family members. Traditions include building private altars to honour the deceased. The altars are decorated with sugar skulls, flowers and the favourite food and drink of the departed family and friends. Gifts and/or possession of the dead are left on graves. The living will spend the day (and possibly the evening) at the grave. They pack food and have a picnic in the cemetery.

Day of the Dead is not a grim holiday. Other cultures may not understand that this is a family holiday, a day of remembering and giving thanks for the people who have been important and valued in our lives. Pagans have a very similar holiday, Samhain, which is also based on remembering the past and celebrating the harvest in the present. In North America we call this Halloween, but it has lost most of the original meaning behind the holiday.