Día de los Muertos, the colorful Day of the Dead!Oct 29 2020
Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that sometimes gets mixed up with Halloween - but the two are very different. Día de los Muertos (also known as Day of the Dead) is a festival that celebrates the lives of those who have passed on, with dancing, laughter, and lots of beautiful colors! The point is to be joyful, not sad or afraid, and that’s because it has its origins in ancient Aztec practices - when people thought that mourning the dead was disrespectful.
Our Day of the Dead collection went live this week, but the actual festival takes place on the 1st and 2nd of November - which are coming up fast! And if you’re not sure of how to color the pictures in our collection, well - let us tell you a little bit about the colors of Día de los Muertos!
- Yellow goes back to those Aztec traditions again - the Aztecs believed that light guided the spirits of the dead to where they were meant to go. This is also why many Mexican families make trails of marigold petals leading to the altars they've made for their departed family members - so their spirits can follow the path and find the altar. (Which usually has the dead person's favorite foods and candy on it!)
- Red is for blood, which also means it stands for life. For some Christian celebrants, the red might specifically refer to Jesus’ blood.
- White is the color for hope - the hope that your loved ones are happy where they are now, and also that they come back to visit during Día de los Muertos! But it also means hope for the living, as well - the hope that people will live their lives the best way they can.
- Pink represents celebration! Which makes perfect sense; it’s hard to imagine a sad shade of pink, isn’t it?
- Purple is actually a relatively recent addition to the Día de los Muertos colors; it was added by the Catholics who arrived centuries after the festival was first celebrated. Purple is an important color in Catholicism, where it represents mourning, and it stands for mourning for Día de los Muertos, too.
- Black originally represented Mictlan, the Aztec realm of the dead, and in modern times it stands for death in general. It's used a lot to highlight brighter colors in the decorations and clothing of Día de los Muertos.
- Orange is a bit like yellow, but more specific; instead of representing light in general, orange stands for the sun! People make or paint monarch butterflies (which have orange wings) for the festival, and decorate with orange marigolds.
There you go, Recolorists; now you have a starting point for coloring our Day of the Dead pictures! And keep an eye out on November 2nd - we’ll have a beautiful Daily picture drawn specially for the holiday!