Halloween is over, but for sugar skull fairies, the real holiday has only just begun. Day of the Dead is a Latin-inspired holiday when people pray for their dead loved ones, leaving marigolds and food on graves. Altars are raised outside or in homes with pictures of the Virgin Mary and old images of dead loved ones. It’s a strangely peaceful mixture of Judeo-christian and pagan beliefs and traditions.
One website describes it as: “On the Day of the Dead or Día de los muertos, those relatives and family members who are left behind in the physical world of transient phenomena return to the graveyard to visit their defunct loved ones and friends, the muertos, who have traveled to the other side of Infinite Creation. So death is but our constant companion, an incessant shadow, a part that pursues us daily, a reflection we cannot shake off, a step forth into another, higher sphere of alternate reality. Though honoring of deceased ancestors who have roamed the Earth before us is to be a festive occasion for those of Meso-American descent and who honor the holiday, it is also a time of sadness, of mourning, of grieving, of quiet contemplation and remembrance, of making an ofrenda or offering, of creating an altar out of respect, or of praying for safe guidance for a departed or troubled soul into the realms beyond, into el mundo del más allá. The Day of the Dead shares a common autumnal “seasonal fusion” with North America’s Hallowe’en, yet the two observances are indeed very separate, unrelated holidays.”(day of the dead guide)
So, while you’re eating your candy, remember your loved ones, and celebrate your life too. The two are inextricable, and a celebration for one thing, can really be a celebration for the other.