|The assembled ingredients.|
Dia de los Muertos is a ritual/holiday that celebrated the lives of those who have died which is Aztec in origin. The Spanish invaders of Mexico tried to eliminate this this month-long pagan holiday with no success; so Dia de los Muertos was eventually merged with the Catholic All-Saints day and All-Souls day on November 1 and 2 in an effort to make the holiday more Christian, like so many other pagan rituals have been. Today, many devout Catholics build ofrendas and make sugar skulls, as well as pagan folks like myself.
|This is what meringue powder looks like!|
|A texture like wet beach sand.|
|Fronts and backs of the large skulls.|
|A whole lotta dead people.|
|Front and back, glued together|
with royal icing.
Once you have let the skulls dry for a couple days, it is time for the fun part! Decorating sugar skulls can be done a couple of ways: when I do it alone, I prefer to focus on only a few skulls, and go into a trance state to commune with the person that the skull represents. You can surround yourself with mementos of that person, play their favorite music, or simply chant their name. This year, I did method #2: I invited a few people over to decorate the skulls with me- so it was a social event!
|Disposable piping bags |
of royal icing.
You can also add foils, glitter, stones and other things to inset in a glob of icing, and feathers to decorate your skulls. The only limit is your imagination!
I'll share some pics later of the skulls on our dead altars at Samhain. but for now, here's a few of the finished ones: