Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of The Dead in Spanish, is a yearly event that commemorates the dead by honoring their earthly remains in a manner that highlights the departed's relationship with the living. It traditionally falls on the second Sunday of October, and is the final day of Lent before Easter. It is a time to remember the life lived during the course of their earthly lives and pay homage to the deceased through various rites and customs.
It should be noted, however, that the Day of The Dead Tattoo is not related in any way with the Day of Lamentation or the Day of Pain, nor does it honor the deceased by using their memory as a means of garnering support or sympathy for their loved ones. The Day Of The Dead tattoo has no connection with religion whatsoever. Instead, it is a commemorative art form.
This day was originally developed during Mexico's early 20th century as a means of memorializing the departed and offering a final resting place for the deceased's ashes, as well as a burial space for the body. Today, the Day Of The Dead remains an important part of many Mexican culture and traditions. The custom originated in Tepeyac, which is now known as Tamaulipas. In this region, the deceased is buried at a cemetery, often in a small, gothic-inspired structure, called a cenote. The notes were typically decorated with crosses, statues, and murals, which were meant to commemorate the deceased, their role in their family's community, and their relationships with others in the community.
Eventually, this tradition moved westward into neighboring communities, and eventually into a nearby state, cities, and even the neighboring U.S. states of California and Arizona. In those areas, the day of the dead tattoo was adapted to fit the surrounding culture and customs. Often times, a local priest would officiate over the ceremony and offer sacrifice as a way to offer thanks to the departed. In many cases, people would even dress up in costumes that closely resemble the departed as a sort of memorial. and pay tribute to them.
Today, the day of the dead continues to grow in popularity, as people seek to honor the departed with various kinds of tattoos, as well as other symbols that may denote their relationship to the living. For example, a Day Of The Dead tattoo can represent the departed as a part of the family, a reminder of home, or simply a mark of their passage into the afterlife. They can be as elaborate as they like, whether they are a portrait, a photo, a specific character, a religious scene, or a combination of both.
There are some groups who celebrate the day of the dead on this day as a day of “Grief and Mourning,” which basically means that it's “Grief and Mourning” day for family members, friends, co-workers and even employers. The holiday is typically celebrated with traditional Mexican food and drinks, with the Day of the Dead being a time when the faithful mourn the death of loved ones and dedicate themselves to paying tribute to their departed loved ones' memory and legacy.
Other areas of the world also use the Day Of The Dead to pay homage to the departed through a morgue-like crematory facility. Often times, these structures include an urn or cemetery in a small town, complete with decorations and offerings made to the deceased. In some instances, the remains of the departed are buried in a plot of land by the side of a family member or close friend.
No matter where you choose to have your Day of The Dead tattoo completed, you'll discover that the design will reflect your personal style and taste. After all, there's nothing worse than looking at someone else's tattoo…so be sure to take into account your own preferences in order to make sure that your tattoo truly represents you!
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