Many cultures around the world celebrate a form of Halloween. Death has always been a pretty big deal throughout history and why shouldn't it? It's not only common but often times comes before you think it should and is always inevitable. I first learned about el dios de los muertos (the day of the dead) when I took Spanish back in high school. The first spanish word I learned was estrella (star) from my friend, Jean, whose mother was Mexican. I remember we all had to make a spanish dish for el dia de los muertos and I made pan de muerto (bread of the dead) which was a sweet bread that I had shaped like bones. I've never learned to make a sugar skull but it's on my to do list.
El dia de los muertos was practiced in Mexico for thousands of years before the Spanish Inquisitors came along. The Catholic church absorbed the holiday (as they had done with the Pagan Samhain) in order to gain more converts so now el dia de los muertos coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day (Nov 1st and 2nd).
As with most holidays of this type it's to reflect on those we've lost, celebrate their lives, and mourn the loss. I enjoyed painting my my mask- this is the first year I've done it, but it's given me the chance to explain El Dia De Los Muertos to many people who curiously asked me what it was supposed to be. So here are some photos- enjoy! And tell me, what's your favorite holiday this time of the year? Your favorite traditions? These are all self portraits, by the way, since I couldn't find a photographer on such short notice (since I only decided to do this yesterday!). Oh yeah- and the premier of my orange hair!