Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dia De Los Muertos

As our first 6 week session of spanish with the homeschooling group came to an end, we celebrated with an old Mexican tradition which happens around this time; Dia de los muertos, and while I am no expert on this celebration, this was in fact my first time hearing of it, I love the feeling of it. It is an old Aztec tradition, and unlike so many of us westerners the latin cultures tends to view death not as something frightening  but as a transition, a passing to the spirit world, yet still very much present and especially so during the celebration of this festival. Skulls are used to symbolize death and rebirth, and to honor the dead. And bright marigold flowers to attract their spirits. Their favorite food is made, and a general honoring and celebration of their spirit takes place.
We made an alter, and each family brought a picture or reminder of a passed loved one and told the group about them. We were also told about this wonderful celebration and where it came from
 after this we went outside where the children made skull and marigold necklaces and painted skull and butterfly masks. Each family also brought a dish to share that was a favorite of the loved one they were remembering
 The skulls were made from salt dough (1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, about half cup water and baked for an hour, and pierced for a necklace, and painted)
 The marigolds were made from tissue paper, 6 almost circles, three larger (about 2 inches) and three smaller. Then a string was pulled through and tied, to the back a bead was tied so the children could string them onto their necklace . Then the center circle was crumbled around the knot creating the center of the flower, and the rest of the circles gentle crumbled around. 
 Paper plates were used to create the skull and butterfly masks, which the children then colored and added a string to
 and the potluck meal was filled with lovely favorites.
A really sweet celebration
~honoring the children's great grandfather Caco~


  1. My cultural exposure to this fete is limited to reading Ray Bradbury, and so it weirds me out not a little - sugar skeletons and all. But you have de-mystified it for me. I love the idea of explaining cultures to children - and have done it myself. But not this one. So I have learned too. But will not be making a skull necklace any time soon. It looked like a wonderful get together. Just another rich gem on that string you make for your kids.

  2. how wonderful! love their necklaces. short street cakes in west avl makes sugar skulls and has a decoration station and an altar set up this weekend for this festival. we won't make it in to decorate them but i am going to pick some up to bring home so that we can next week!

  3. Looks like a really fun day you all had!


  4. It was such a day of warmth, both the weather and the memories! Thanks for the great pictures, Christina. Love, light and peace.

  5. I think we will need to make dia de los muertos necklaces! Love it! I have wanted to have a dia de los muertos for a while but always forget...thanks for the reminder.

  6. Another inspirational craft! I just wanted to share that yesterday at our homeschool group we made fairy looms with the preschoolers...they were gorgeous! Thanks for the great ideas...I think we'll be making skull necklaces in the days ahead!
    xo maureen

  7. These are wonderful! This has always been one of my favorite ways to celebrate the harvest season.

  8. I found you through Twig and Toadstool's blog.Fantastic ideas.


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