Sugar Skulls, Here, There and Everywhere


What is a Sugar Skull?

A Sugar Skull is an offering to a loved one who has passed away.  Sugar Skulls are associated with the Dia Del Los Muertos or the Day of the Dead.  This festival celebrates life and death.  Skulls are often used in fun ways, doing regular things like dancing and wearing clothes.  

Where does the Dia Del Los Muertos come from?  

Dia Del Los Muertos festival is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, the days of All Souls and All Saints day on the Catholic calendar.  So is it a Catholic holiday, well, yes and no, it is a mixture of the Catholic holiday and an ancient Aztec festival.  This combination is what make the Day of the Dead unique to Mexico.

Okay, I get it, it is Mexican Halloween.

No, Dia Del Los Muertos is not Halloween.  You might see sugar skulls and sugar skull make up and treats all over the Halloween aisle, but it really has nothing to do with Halloween.  Dia Del Los Muertos is a festival that celebrates life and death with offerings to those who have passed.  The Sugar Skull look comes from sugar skulls.

What are Sugar Skulls made of and can you eat them?

Yes, they are made of sugar.  They are also made of meringue powder and water.  The combination is mixed and then placed in a sugar skull mold.  Later it is decorated with colored icing.  Sorry, even though you could eat them, you really shouldn't eat Sugar Skulls.

sugar skull

Sugar Skulls Today

A Sugar Skull is also known as a calavera.  The Calavera is an art form that has been lost to time.  While there are still Sugar Skull makers, it is a dying art form.  It is an art form where one apprentices and spends a life time to perfect the craft.  It is ironic in a way, that only recently has the art of Sugar Skulls been appreciated, it has also been dying out.