Dia de Los Muertos

Share This:

Dia de Los Muertos

On Dia de Los Muertos it is believed that the spirits of our dead come back from the afterlife to visit family and friends.  It is thought that a slight breeze, a beautiful butterfly or even a hummingbird can carry their spirit.

Families and friends gather to celebrate the return of their loved ones with delicious food, family visits to the grave sites and festive attire. A welcome home fiesta for the spirit of their loved ones, who when arrive can enjoy the altar, hear festive music and enjoy visiting all their family who has come to celebrate.


The Mexican is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, and celebrates it. It is one of his favorite playthings and his most steadfast love.”

-Octavio Paz



 Sugar Skull Rice Krispies over at Spanglishbaby


Sugar skulls, also known as Calaveras or calaveritas de azucar, are among the most recognizable part of displays. Sugar skulls serve to remind us that death awaits us at any turn. Elaborately decorated with glitter, sequins, jewels they have become a symbol of the Day of the Dead and offer a festive way to honor death. Sugar skulls play an important role in this celebration as many families gift the children tiny skulls to enjoy at the fiesta.


The ofrenda (the altar), traditionally includes the yellow marigolds (cempasuchitl) the sweet scent that leads the departed home toward their altar, water, photos and favorite foods and drinks.

All ofrendas feature four elements: Water, Wind, Fire and Earth.

Earth is represented with food

Fire is represented by a candle

Wind is represented by colorful paper ornaments

And there is always water for the journey

Ofrenda foods typically include bread, fruit, chocolate or sweets and a dish representative of that person or family’s meals.

Tamales and Atole (porridge) are very typical of both ofrendas and graveside displays.

Pan de muerto, a special bread made with raisins, aniseed or orange blossom water are shaped into round shape topped with dough formed into “bones” or crosses, then topped with sugar.

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated differently depending on where you’re from.  I like to incorporate oranges, grapefruit and lemons as they’re representative of my South Texas heritage.

Chocolate Skull Cake


Dia de Los Muertos is an ancient Aztec celebration of death, the bittersweet companion to life. All life must come to an end, so why not celebrate death as we do life? When the Europeans arrived in Mexico, both the Catholic religion and the Aztec celebration intertwined. Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated on from October 31 to November 2.

In the United States families of Mexican descent are celebrating Dia de Los Muertos more and more each year, making for Dia de Los Muertos in becoming a widely popular holiday. 

I would personally love to thank Alyssa Garza a local Texas A&M graphic art design student who took time from her busy schedule to paint my daughter’s faces. We were amazed at the results and my girls will never forget the experience. Thanks Alyssa for helping us to preserve our culture in this Dia de Los Muertos Celebration!! 

To help us celebrate Dia de Los Muertos Wilton has graciously offered to giveaway one Wilton 3D Skull Cake Pan to one of my readers!  Very cool, now you can easily recreate theses recipes and celebrate along with us next year!!

How to Enter: Please leave one comment for each action taken~Four chances to enter!


Like Sweet Life on Facebook

Follow Sweet Life on Twitter

Follow Sweet Life on Pinterest

Tweet  Amazing #diadelosmuertos giveaway with @WiltonCakes and @sweetlifebake enter here (use twitter button above)


Giveaway ends Monday November 5, 2012. Winner will be contacted by email, Good Luck!!

Sponsor will ship prize.

Contest is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States of America, Washington, D.C. (excluding US territories and possessions) or Canada (excluding Quebec), who are are eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law

Sweet Life Disclosure ~ Wilton has graciously offered to provide my readers a skull pan for this celebration. I only endorse products that I use and love.  


© 2012, Sweet Life. All rights reserved. Please contact us to request written approval for reproduction of images and recipes.

49 Responses to Dia de Los Muertos

  1. […] my girls were younger Dia de Los Muertos was a little more complicated to explain.  I mean try explaining to 3 year old that all life must […]

  2. I love her makeup! What awesome pictures!

  3. Oh I LOVE this POST!!!

  4. I love dia de los muertos!! And this cake pan rocks!!

  5. What a great giveaway~~ I love Wilton!!

  6. Thank you for sharing this wonderful holiday~~

  7. Loving this giveaway!!

  8. I follow SLB on Pinterest

  9. I like SLB on fb

  10. I follow SLB on twitter

  11. i follow you on everything and glad to! What beautiful and detailed cakes!

  12. I’m an avid follower of you! Bringing some of your tex-mex to my ca-mex!

  13. [...] For more photos and a story about how Vianney celebrates Día de los Muertos, click here to go over … [...]

  14. Ah, I love this post! So fascinating and informative!
    Alyssa did an amazing job. I’m sure your girls must have had so much fun!

    I have you liked on Facebook, as you should already know ;).


  15. Not in for the giveaway but I have to say what an incredible job you’ve done on the make up! :)
    baker street recently posted..Easy Tips: Cookie PackagingMy Profile

  16. These are fabulous pictures of your dia de los Muertos celebration! Alyssa did a great job with your daughter’s face paint and you or someone did a great job with the camera. Great post!
    mjskit recently posted..Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples and Manchego CheeseMy Profile

  17. I like Sweet Life on Pinterest too!

  18. I follow Sweet Life on FB :)

  19. What a great giveaway!

    Hope you had a wonderful Dia de los Muertos, Vianney.
    Rachel – A Southern Fairytale recently posted..Have a Homemade Handmade HolidayMy Profile

  20. Wow the face painting are really gorgeous! Love the sugar skulls and the chocolate skull cake, so cool!

  21. I am fan on Facebook! Would love this cake pan for next year celebration!!

  22. I follow you on twitter! Love trying your recipes! Just as yummy as my moms!

  23. I follow you on pinterest! you’re amazing!!!

  24. I am a pinterest follower of yours. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  25. I am a facebook fan of yours. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  26. i follow you on twitter and thank you for this giveaway and great dia de los muertos lesson! :)
    grace recently posted..a heathful halloweenMy Profile

  27. I follow Sweet Life on Pinterest.


  28. I like Sweet Life on Facebook. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  29. Oh, Vianney! This is what I love–when you share your culture with us! Growing up in Texas as a Catholic, I’m well-familiar with Mexican culture. I feel part-Mexican most of the time! ;) My grandparents are buried in a Catholic cemetary and one of the reason we chose that cemetary is because of the large hispanic community in the area. At any given time, there are people in the cemetary, smiling, laughing and having a picnic. THAT’S the kind of place we want to be–where death is not just sad, but a natural part of life. We always feel comfortable going there to visit granmda & grandpa because we know it’s a happy place. I’m not in Dallas anymore, so I haven’t been able to go for quite some time, but if I was, I would be going for dia de los muertos for sure!

    Thanks for such a lovely post :)

  30. I liked Sweet Life on Facebook. I am not Mexican but there is something about the Day of the Dead that speaks to me…

  31. TWEET
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  32. I follow you on Twitter as MsCarolsueA
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  33. I follow you on Pinterest as cezovski9
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  34. I like you on Facebook (Carolsue Anderson)
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  35. Gorgeous photographs. Feliz Día de los Muertos!
    Unknown Mami recently posted..Safe and Happy HalloweenMy Profile

  36. Follow Sweet Life on Pinterest – Jill Lear

  37. Follow Sweet Life on Twitter @chipdip2010

  38. Like Sweet Life on Facebook – Jill Lear

  39. Shared your post on my Facebook timeline (and liked your Facebook) and re-pinned GirliChef’s pin of this post as well. Nicely done.
    Maggie recently posted..Harvest Party TourMy Profile

  40. I follow you on Pinterest (and I pinned this beautiful post).
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Butternut Squash Stew w/ Chickpeas, Raisins, & Almonds over Whole Wheat Couscous {12 Weeks of Winter Squash}My Profile

  41. And I like you on Facebook…which I thought I already did…but apparently I’d never clicked before…sorry =(
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Butternut Squash Stew w/ Chickpeas, Raisins, & Almonds over Whole Wheat Couscous {12 Weeks of Winter Squash}My Profile

  42. Okay, first of all….ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS pics of your girls. So fantastic. This is such a wonderful post, Vianney. (and thx for the link). I follow you on twitter (@girlichef).
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Butternut Squash Stew w/ Chickpeas, Raisins, & Almonds over Whole Wheat Couscous {12 Weeks of Winter Squash}My Profile

  43. Awwww! Que bonitas tus niñas! I love how Dia de Muertos is growing in popularity in the States. :)
    Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie recently posted..Last-Minute Halloween Recipe: Deviled EyeballsMy Profile

  44. Tweeted your giveaway! We are looking forward to pan de muerto and enjoying champurrado in the coming days!

  45. Happy Dias de Los Muertos! I’d love to experience this celebration…

    Gorgeous make-up!



  46. I love tradition! Your daughters look amazing and that chocolate skull cake!!! I love it!!! :D
    Connie Gomez recently posted..{Dia de Los Muertos} Culture ExperienceMy Profile

  47. I tweeted and follow on twitter, facebook and pinterest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge