Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Celebrating Death

Death itself, or the thought of death tends to invoke a somber emotion. The action of death can inflict itself upon the living (obviously) but also figuratively with the death of a job, a friendship, or a mechanical/electronic belonging.

Death generally sucks. We want our beloved to live forever, or carry on with us during our lifetime. But in Mexican and Latin cultures, death is accepted as a way of life. The departed move on, and return to visit the living in celebration.

Dia de los Muertos is an annual holiday that lasts between 1-3 days--typically beginning Oct. 31st--and is celebrated around the world. Each country varies in its traditions in celebrating this holiday. 

Not only does observing death as a celebration of its preceding life help us move on, but this ritual is an optimistic method in remembering the good, while it coexisted with us. 

In my opinion, Day of the Dead is not only an annual holiday. It can also be applied as a healthy outlook on all things that have passed on in our lives. Cherish the good times. Love what you have. Live in the present. Celebrate your life. Because, after all, nothing lasts. 

As a commemoration, I have crafted this sugar skull ornament for Day of the Dead. It was a deeply meditating experience in creating this skull. I started out not knowing what materials I'd be using, nor did I have a vision of how it would turn out. I just let my imagination guide me. In the midst of creating, I thought about all that I've lost, figuratively and literally. By the end of the crafting process, I felt I could let it all go. I was able to celebrate the changes in life. Each time I look at my sugar skull, it brings me peace. It also reminds me to rejoice all of the people, animals and things that I do still have with me.

Make your own meditative sugar skull ornament. Use any material you desire. Let your thoughts and celebrations run wild!

Materials used:
- Felt
- Glue
- Embroidery thread
- Rhinestone stickers
- Silk rose

The sugar skull ornament made a wonderful addition to my Day of the Dead wreath. (Same grapevine wreath used as here, here, and here.)

(All Photos via Art and Facts)