Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sugar Skulls

Across New Mexico and in many other southwest states, the Christian tradition of celebrating All Saint's Day has become entwined with the tradition of celebrating the Day of the Dead or "Dia de los Muertos"  which originated with the Aztecs in Central America.   This tradition includes making an "Ofrenda" or altar and placing on it photos and mementos of the your loved ones who have died.  These Ofrendas are very colorful indeed!  
Photo via

Besides photos, some common things you might find on the ofrenda are food (especially foods that were favorites of the deceased family member) and pan de muerto, flowers, archways made of flowers to represent bridges between heaven and earth, skulls and skeletons usually made of sugar, and papel picado (tissue paper with cut designs)..
Image via
 For the second year, St. Mark's on the Mesa has set up an Ofrenda for our All Saints Day celebration.  

It is not nearly as exuberant or colorful as some, but it has become a very moving celebration of the saints who have preceded us in death.  Our icon guild placed the icons of Saints they have created recently.  

The children really enjoyed making sugar skulls which they shared by placing the skulls on the altar (and are hoping their parents will allow them to  eat  when they pick them up next Sunday... hence the enormous piling on of icing and candy decorations!)
Is there really a skull under here?
This skull is in serious need of my friend Dr. JoAnn Allen, who is a dentist.  Please consider voting for her on Tuesday if you live in House District 31.  She is a terrific woman and would be a wonderful asset in the New Mexico legislature. 

There are lots more skulls, but honestly I need to go and find my toothbrush.  Just looking at these makes my teeth ache!

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