Summer Series 1 - Week 3
The Day of the Dead is one of the most popular and unique holidays within Mexico and its culture. A common misconception is that it is similar to Halloween because it falls around the same time, but it couldn't be any more different.
Many of you may be familiar with the the Disney Pixar film Coco. This a beautifully crafted movie that includes all of the different aspects of this holiday: family, food, music, and a celebration of togetherness in spirituality. It is a great movie to watch to get your little ones familiar with The Day of the Dead.
It is still celebrated every year midnight of October 31st - November 2nd in Mexico. During this time, it is believed that the souls travel back from the Land of the Dead to their families and friends. Marigold flowers are particularly important because they're sent and bright colors are placed on the graves of those who have passed in order to guide the souls back, a belief that extends all the way back to the ancient Aztecs.
Altars are created on the graves and homes of loved ones and are decorated with marigolds, candles, pictures of the deceased, sugar skulls, their favorite items, or items that symbolize something important to the deceased, like a guitar, and other decorations. Incense are lit as well, and the scent of the incenses and smoke is said to guide the spirit back. They also offer a feast of food and drink, particularly ones that the deceased enjoyed in their lifetime normally on the night of November 2nd. There is also music played all over the graveyards in light of celebration of spiritual togetherness with a resounding representation of water, earth, and fire on the altar to celebrate all parts of life being reunited.
1. Today we are going to create sugar skulls in honor of El Día de los Muertos, we are going to make some homemade sugar skulls. You'll need to start by ordering some silicone molds. You can purchase some on Amazon, two molds for only $8.98, linked below.
2. Create your sugar past with a mixer, a food processor, or by hand if you're feeling bold. You'll need to mix together 1/4 cup of meringue powder, 4 cups of granulated sugar, and 1/8 cup of water. Pack the sugars and powder together with your hands into the molds. Add water as needed, but not too much. Next, scrape off the excess, and allow the skulls to sit in the mold for 12-24 hours (the longer the better).
3. Take your skulls out of the mold and decorate with icing, markers, glitter, or whatever you see fit!
4. Take a picture of your final products and send them into firstname.lastname@example.org to enter into our summer sweepstakes!