Not familiar with Dia de los Muertos? Neither was I, until two years ago when my daughter performed in a ballet about the holiday. Dia de los Muertos -- Day of the Dead -- is celebrated primarily in Mexico. During the holiday, which is on November 2nd, people gather to celebrate their deceased loved ones. It is a day of remembrance and celebration.
All of the food was handmade with my daughter. This party was great way to learn more about the cultural aspects of the Dia de los Muertos. First, we made pan de muertos, an anise-citrus flavored sweet bread, which translates to "bread of the dead". We also made sugar skulls, using skeleton ice-cube molds that we purchased locally. Sugar skulls are traditionally made as a gift for a visiting deceased loved one's spirit. We also made calaveras sugar cookies, using fondant toppers. Lastly, we made calacas, or skeleton, cupcakes. For a drink, we made cantaloupe agua fresca.
The party design began with the brightly colored calaveras printables. The main colors of the printables are black, orange, lime green, and purple. Because Dia de los Muertos is just a couple days after Halloween, I designed the printables so that they could be used with either holiday. The pictures show cupcakes topped with toppers that say "Dia de los Muertos" or, alternatively, "Happy Halloween" and "Boo!". The entire Printable Party Collection is available in my Etsy Shop!
Another traditional Dia de los Muertos element is the use of cut paper banners, papel picados. Many of the banners are intricately cut works of art. I created a banner over the top of the table, inspired by the papel picados. I also used mini banners as a banner on the bread and mason jar glasses. For the favor boxes, I made paper flowers. Paper flowers are often used to decorate the altars and graves during Dia de los Muertos.
For Halloween, why not try something new and different, this year? Check back later this week for all the recipes and DIY projects from this party, so you can host your own Dia de los Muertos party!