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Day of the Dead / Dia de los Muertos Costumes

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El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, originated in Mexico. It is now celebrated in Portugal, Spain and many other Latin American countries. Many U.S. cities that are home to large numbers Hispanic people also hold celebrations.

The purpose of the Day of the Dead is to honor, remember and celebrate loved ones who have died. It falls on November 2, coinciding with the Catholic All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). It's just chance that it comes right after Halloween, which is of Celtic origin. There is no connection between the two celebrations.   

The roots of Día de los Muertos go back to indigenous peoples before Europeans came to Central and South America. The Maya believed that their ancestors' spirits stayed with them and wanted offerings of food from the living. The Aztecs had a festival in early autumn to honor Mictecacihuatl, their queen or goddess of the underworld or "Lady of the Dead." She is the inspiration for the Calavera Catrina, a popular Day of the Dead costume and decor theme. The Catrina is a colorful decorated skeleton or just a skull. Then, in the 1500s, Spanish explorers and missionaries brought the Catholic faith to the region. The native traditions became absorbed into and mixed with the imported ones.   

To non-Hispanics this may seem macabre, but modern celebrations of Día de los Muertos are festive and fun. Families set up altars called ofrendas in their homes. They decorate them with candles, sugar skulls, and marigolds. They also display photos, possessions and favorite foods of their departed loved ones. They believe that when the souls of the dead see their altar, they take in the spiritual essence of the food. The living can and do eat the food after the celebration, but they believe that it lacks any nutritional value at that point. They wear skeleton or Calaveras Catrinas masks and costumes, like the ones we have. They gather in cemeteries to decorate the graves, pray for, and tell stories about their departed loved ones.   

Even if you're not Hispanic, you can join in a celebration of Día de los Muertos in one of our skeleton or Day of the Dead costumes. We have styles and sizes for the whole family, with masks, makeup and other accessories to complete any look.

To host a Day of the Dead party, decorate your home with marigold flowers and some of our skull or skeleton-themed items. Maybe even set up an ofrenda. Then find some sugar skulls at a Mexican market, look up a recipe for "pan de muerto" (bread of the dead), and you're ready for a fiesta! How To

Day of the Dead Costumes

Day of the Dead Costumes

Ideas, Tips and Tricks

If you love Halloween then no doubt you’ve taken an interest in the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. It is a holiday that is devoted to honoring our deceased loved ones in a celebratory way. Families decorate altars in their homes with photographs, favorite objects and favorite foods of the people they honor. They visit the cemeteries and clean and decorate the grave sites, all while enjoying a carnival-like atmosphere. Whether you want to join in on this unique tradition, or pay homage to it at your next Halloween party, we’ve got a few tips to help you pull of your Dia de los Muertos costume perfectly.

How to Pose for Pictures in Your Day of the Dead Costume

Day of the Dead Poses


Spooky Day of the Dead Pose


Lantern Day of the Dead Pose


Skull Day of the Dead Pose


Muerto Day of the Dead Pose

Posing in your Day of the Dead costume can be as simple as mastering a spooky stare or an animated smile to call attention to your skull makeup. Simple props can really up the wow factor, such as an old-fashioned lantern or a spider-web lace wrapped skull. If standing still in a stoic pose isn’t your thing, you can always dance instead! Dancing in honor of your deceased friends and relatives is an important part of the celebration.

How to Pose as a Couple in Your Day of the Dead Costumes

Day of the Dead Couples Costumes

Look Behind You

Look Behind You Day of the Dead Couples Costumes

Coffin Read

Coffin Ready Day of the Dead Couples Costumes

When you and your significant other go out in coordinating Day of the Dead costumes, you’ll be the couple that everyone wants a picture of. Practicing a few go-to poses will ensure that every picture shows off your costumes at their best. We love the over-the-shoulder glance that happens when you place your hand upon your partners shoulder. And the side by side matching coffin pose will give people chills every time!

Day of the Dead Facts

Day of the Dead Facts

Day of the Dead Facts

Day of the Dead Costume Makeup Tutorial

Start with a white base using cream makeup and powder. Use a navy blue eye shadow color across both eyelids in a circular shape. Then blend with a lighter blue around the edges of this shape to create more dimension. Then take the black and red eyebrow pencils and create a web pattern across the forehead. Use the black pencil to fill in the nose and to create more lines across the face. Finally use spirit gum to attach the colored gems across your face.