I ran into Market Street to simply grab a few items for charcuterie spread I was throwing together. It was supposed to be an in-and-out, quick run. But the golden amber vases, burnt orange florals, and them smell of simmering apples drew me over to the floral department like a moth to straight to a flame. I took a quick gander, promising myself to simply “get a few ideas” to come back for later.
You can guess how that turned out.
A gold and glass amber vase full of fall floral later, I was about the head over to the imported cheese section when this display caught my eye. Since the moment we decided to host our next Girls Night Out in celebration of Día de Los Muertos (The Day of The Dead) I see sugar skull art everywhere I go. I don’t know if I merely never noticed it before, or if it’s suddenly all the rage.
Either way, it’s everywhere, and I love it.
In years past, I probably thought the colorfully painted skulls were just a light-hearted way of celebrating Halloween. Yes, even after watching “The Book of Life” movie, somehow the true meaning of this celebration was still lost on me. But through my friendship with Cindy Puente Pedraza, the co-founder of CocoAndre Chocolatiers in Dallas, I’ve learned that in the Mexican celebration of Día de Los Muertos, these “calavaritas” mean so much more. I will tell you more about Cindy’s story soon.
But for today, since I bumped into these beauties, I want to highlight their meaning.
In the Mexican tradition, these skulls are made from sugar and decorated with big happy smiles, colorful icing and often the name of a beloved departed soul written on their forehead. Used to decorate the “ofrenda” made in their home or the gravestone of the ones who have passed. They’re made as part of the celebration to honor their lives and celebrate the return of their spirit to visit on Día de Los Muertos (which is actually November 2nd). Whether this is a belief or tradition that fits for you or not, the beauty of the remembrance and celebration can’t be denied. It’s a dedicated time each year to put emphasis on not only remembering, but truly celebrating the lives of the loved ones who have gone before. In the busyness of our modern culture, an intentional pause to remember and celebrate their lives could be easily overlooked.
Día de Los Muertos makes sure it is not.
You get to rehearse who and what you want to remember. You can choose to carry the beautiful lives of the ones you’ve lost with you forever. But it requires the intention to rehearse their stories, their joys, their loves, their hopes, and dreams. It’s your responsibility to pass it on, to generations to come.
“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
Their life is in your memory.
It’s worth celebrating.
to more love,