Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1stand 2nd, is primarily a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember lost loved ones.
Traditionally those celebrating visit the graves of family members that have died to tidy them up and build altars honoring the deceased using decorative sugar skulls, marigolds and other flowers. They also leave the favorite foods and beverages of the departed as gifts.
|Offerings for the souls of the dead.|
The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them.
|Elegant Skulls for Day of the Dead|
While this may seem like a sad occasion, Dia de los Muertos usually takes on a jovial tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed. La Calavera Catrina, “The Elegant Skull”, is the most iconic image of Day of the Dead celebrations. Sugar skulls are elaborately decorated as offerings and senoritas paint their faces to portray elegant Catrinas as part of the celebration. Orange Mexican marigolds, sometimes referred to as Flor de Muerto or “Flower of the Dead”, are the traditional flower used to honor the dead.
All of the beautiful flowers and imagery of Day of the Dead are not totally foreign to us, we have done more than a few themed weddings for the occasion. So we took our inspiration from our Day of the Dead experience, Mexican traditions, and our love of flowers and headed to one of the local cemeteries to create an altar and shoot a few photos.
Jessi Rose, our floral design apprentice and resident dress up doll, was painted like a Catrina and given a beautiful bouquet of marigolds, roses, zinnias, asters, mums and calla lilies. We designed flowers for her hair in blooms to match with accents of blue hydrangea.
Our offerings included a bowl of fruit, a bottle of tequila (a popular offering for Dia de los Muertos celebrations) and skulls hand painted by our designers in iconic Mexican styling.
We brought along more flowers as well, a bouquet of gladiolus, another popular flower for the occasion, and another bouquet to match our model’s with more lovely marigolds and lots of yellow Jerry’s balls. These bouquets were left at the cemetery as offerings to Jessi Rose’s grandparents who are at rest there.
We hope everyone enjoys today’s haunting Halloween celebrations and that you embrace the fun, tradition, and remembrance of Dia de los Muertos!