How do you celebrate your love, especially for those who have left for their heavenly abode?
Your probable answer could be getting something published in their name, something ranging between a poem to a whole new book. Well, there are some who go to the limits of having their loved ones inked/imprinted on themselves.
Getting oneself tattooed with something one fancies isn't a new concept. From the variety of designs one gets to choose from, tattooing isn't simply a fad, it is much more than a style statement. Well, for the Mexicans at least, the Day of the Dead tattoo is a means of dedicating a person's undying love for the deceased member. They are colorful representations of the cherished soul, thus giving the tattoo world a whole new meaning.
Day of the Dead
Día de los Muertos
or the Day of the Dead is a Mexican religious holiday and is celebrated around the same time as Halloween. The celebrations are merged with the Catholic days of prayer dedicated to the saints and the souls that fall on November 1st and 2nd respectively. All over the world, you are sure to find people visiting the graves of their deceased loved ones to offer prayers and offerings to the souls.
Basically, it is a day dedicated to honor and pray for the deceased souls of the family. In Mexico, the celebration of the day of the dead is taken to another level. The celebrations seem to have been started by the Aztecs, who venerated and revered their ancestors. In keeping with the tradition, a special altar or shrine is made to welcome the returning souls. Offerings of flowers, food and sugar skulls form an integral part of the celebrations which is why color is associated with this festival.
Incorporating the Theme in Tattoos
For a Mexican, engraving themselves with day of the dead tattoos, is only a means of etching the fond memories associated with the deceased loved one on to themselves. Unlike bringing up frightful images, the tattoos associated with this day are colorful and can be designed according to your liking. In keeping with the theme of the day, the tattoos incorporate skulls and flowers as the main design. The tattoos themselves, reflect the flowery abundance of the actual celebrations.
Calaveras or calacas, known as skulls form an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations. As popular belief may have it, skulls are essentially considered to be signs of darkness and death which often conjure images of decay and dread. However, in Mexican culture, skulls are considered to be not just signs of death but also of rebirth. The skull here is a symbol of protection, power, strength and the ability to overcome obstacles. Far from being scary and fierce as they were considered to be, the Day of the Dead skull tattoos are magnificent illustrations of the deceased soul.
Face Painted Sugar Skulls
While, getting tattooed is undoubtedly a favored option, there are many who opt to paint their faces to celebrate the Day of the Dead. The most common design for painting the face happens to be that of a skull. The face painting involves darkening of the eye and nose to create a hollowed out look like that of a skull. The other details include creating spider webs, or flower designs on the face.
These tattoos are generally done on the arm, but you can also try some other places like the back or the ankle. Whichever location and design you choose, remember to take proper tattoo care.