Mexican Day of the Dead and Sugar Skull Tattoos for Girls
Day of the Dead Tattoos: History, Meaning, and Personalization
Recently, Mexican Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) tattoos have become a coveted design for both guys and girls. If you search the Internet, you'll find that many of these designs are geared towards guys, so my goal is to introduce some for girls and maybe educate you a little bit on the history along the way.
In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a time to celebrate and honor ancestors and is celebrated on November 1st or 2nd in alignment with the Roman Catholic All Saints' Day. The origins can be traced back to the time of the Aztecs and corresponds with other ancestral celebrations around the world (including the Celtic Samhain holiday).
So what image comes to mind when you think of a Mexican tattoo? Sugar skulls, of course. The sugar skull (or calavera) is one of the main symbols or images seen during the Day of the Dead festivities and represents ancestors. In Mexico, you'll see see skulls made out of molded sugar with the name of a departed loved one written on the forehead on the gravestones as an invitation for that soul to return on the Day of the Dead.
There are other images and well-known symbols that would make awesome Day of the Dead tattoos for girls, including humorous skeletons, vibrant butterflies, bright flowers, and various other Mexican or Catholic motifs.
If you're trying to individualize your design, add a bit of your own flair. Check out the pictures below to see how the owners' personalities shine through. Some are of pretty women's faces made to look like sugar skulls and adorned with bright flowers in their hair or hands. You might opt for a sugar skull enveloped in butterfly wings or set inside a bright flower. Maybe you want your design to honor a deceased loved one. If so, incorporate their name or incorporate other details or objects you associate with them, things they loved in life. The options are endless.
Additional, Unique Design Elements
While sugar skulls are a super popular tattoo in modern times, you can still make your sugar skull tattoo your own. As mentioned previously, personalize it by adding different elements to the tattoo that the next person might not have.
Try adding one or more of the following elements:
- a quote or phrase you are inspired by
- flowers other than roses (roses are the most popular), instead try sunflowers, daisies, lillies, hibiscus, etc.
- animals like owls, butterflies, bees, cats, etc.
- turn the sugar skull into a portrait of a favorite celebrity or loved one or yourself
- add the sugar skull tattoo to an already existing or in-progress sleeve or full back piece
- pick a different style of sugar skull tattoo such as the new school styles like watercolor or polka trash (instead of the traditional tattoo styles)
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Which day of the dead tattoo would you get?
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© 2011 Nicole Canfield