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Day Of The Dead 2017 Costume & Make-Up Ideas!

What is Day Of The Dead? When is the colourful festival?

Day of the Dead celebrations will soon kick off in Mexico, with millions of revellers taking to the streets to honour their lost loved ones. People often construct their own private altars, where they honour the dead with a number of different gifts. Sugar skulls and marigolds are among the offerings given up, as well as the favourite food and drinks of the departed. As the years have gone by, the designs have become even more intricate and extravagant. Last year, the first ever Day of the Dead parade took place in Mexico’s capital and it’s believed that this addition to the celebration was inspired by a scene from the James Bond film, Spectre. The colourful festival is just around the corner and will take place from Tuesday October 31 and will continue throughout November 1 and 2.

What costume ideas are there for Day Of The Dead?

Traditional dress

It is customary for women on Day of the Dead to wear long, floral Mexican dresses during the event. Meanwhile Mexican men often wear fine, smart clothing on Dia de los Muertos. Men will often wear black hats, meanwhile women will opt for floral headpieces.

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Day of the dead - Sugar Skull Light

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La Catrina: It’s Meaning and Why It’s Symbolic of Día de los Muertos

It’s not Halloween but rather the first couple of days in November when the celebration of death is at the cultural forefront in many Spanish-speaking countries — and particularly in Mexico. One of the most common symbols you’ll see around Día de los Muertos is La Catrina, a statement-making skeletal figure (a bit reminiscent of sugar skulls) adorned in a fine dress and hat.

According to urban legend, La Catrina’s roots come from Aztec death goddess Mictecacihuatl. In the legend, the goddess served the same purpose as La Catrina does today: to honor and protect those who have passed and to symbolize the relationship Mexicans have with death.

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Day of the dead - Sugar Skull Light

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7 things to know about Dia de los Muertos

Traditional Dia de los Muertos attire. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial
Traditional Dia de los Muertos attire. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

Widely used decorations and dancing skeletons. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

Traditional Dia de los Muertos attire. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

Paintings hung for Dia de los Muertos celebration. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration that some people tend confuse with Halloween. Although the days fall close together, Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are culturally different. The vibrant sugar skulls, decorative alters and pan dulce are part of what brings to life Mexico’s celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have died. The Mexican custom honors the lives of the deceased by sharing their favorite foods, drinks and the memories they enjoyed in life.

1. Halloween and Dia de los Muertos have different origins. Unlike Dia de los Muertos, Halloween originated in Europe. About 2,000 years ago, the Celts wore costumes to rid off spirits at the festival of Samhain, a festival celebrating the end of their year, a time when there was no clear boundary between the world of the living and that of the dead. Dia de los Muertos is a hybrid of the two-month long Aztec Festival of the Dead and the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

2. Although Dia de los Muertos derives from the Aztec culture and Catholicism brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquistadores, other areas in Latin America and the United States partake in the custom.

3. Day of the Dead is celebrated on two days. Nov. 1 is the day to remember the children who died, and Nov. 2 welcomes the visit of the adults.

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Paintings hung for Dia de los Muertos celebration. Photo credit: File Photo/The SundialWidely used decorations and dancing skeletons. Photo credit: File Photo/The SundialTraditional Dia de los Muertos attire. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

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Hollywood Forever Cemetery presents the 16th annual Dia de los Muertos festival:

Dia De Los Muertos

Hollywood Forever Presents: Dia De Los Muertos
The theme for this years event is
Shamanic Visions of the Huichol
Saturday, October 24th, 2015: 12pm until 12am

The Ceremonial Altar Set-Up: Friday, October 23rd, 2015 – 3pm onward


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More event details:

General Admission: $20 per person – (please bring exact change)
Children 8 years and under free until 4pm
Seniors 65 and over free until 4pm

  • Dia de Los Muertos attire strongly encouraged – Come dressed in your finest Calaca apparel
  • Spend an eventful day relaxing and watching the evening stars appear as the cemetery comes to life with joyful celebrations
  • Enjoy fine Mexican cuisine and a wide spectrum of Day of the Dead arts and crafts available for purchase
  • Plan ahead where to park and please carpool
  • Pre-Purchase your tickets to avoid lines day of the event

Location Address:
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Event Features:

  • A vibrant traditional procession in the home of Hollywood’s Immortals with traditional Aztec blessings and Regional Musical-Dance group dedications
  • Musical performances by Grammy Award winning recording artists
  • 100+ Altars created by members of the community to their ancestors and loved ones
  • Hundreds of Aztec Ritual Dancers in full costume
  • Three stages featuring music and theatrical performances
  • An Art Exhibition in the Cathedral Mausoleum curated by Luis Villanueva
  • A costume contest for the best dressed Calaca (skeleton)
  • A children’s arts project area presented by Artist & Craftsman Supply
  • Arts and Crafts vendors
  • Food vendors from around Los Angeles
  • Presentation of Altar winners – The judges will select the best altar of each of the following categories: Theme of Huichol, Traditional Altar, Contemporary Altar – the best of each category wins $3,000



ALTAR EXHIBITS 12pm – 12am
Winners announced at 7:30pm at Main Stage

Throughout the cemetery grounds

Make a Gods Eye • Arts & Crafts • Face Painting

Huichol Shaman “Blessing” 1:00pm
PROCESSION from entrance to main stage 1:00pm – 1:30pm – Led by Huichol Shaman

Photo booth – at chapel island inside main entrance
Winner announced at 7:30pm at Main Stage


  • Daniel Cervantes
  • Francisco Loza
  • Jesus Molina
  • Luis Alberto Saavedra
  • Luis Villanueva
  • Manuel Benitez
  • Manuel Sauceda
  • Mar Abella
  • Maria del Refugio Coronado
  • Mario Odasa
  • Mauricio Canas
  • Rogelio Hernandez
  • Salvador Rodriguez
  • Serafin Venegas

LA CATRINA STAGE 3:00pm – 9:30pm

  • Nayare – Folkloric Dance Group
  • Hermanos Rios – Musical Group
  • Libre Movimiento – Butho Dance
  • Jesús Angulo – Singer
  • Dance Art “WIXARITARI” special choreography debut
  • Malena Durán – Singer
  • Conjunto Hermanos Rios – Musical Group


  • Ballet Xhanat de Fiacro Castro
  • Ballet Internacional de Lucia Parra
  • Conjunto Tenocelomeh (Son Jarocho)
  • Conjunto Regional Alma Suriana (Nayarit)
  • Conjunto Jardin (Son Jarocho)
  • Along for the Ride (Bossanova)
  • Estampa Nayarit (Regional Alma Suriana)
  • Estampa Jarocha (Tenocelomeh)
  • Conjunto Zacamdu (Son Jarocho)
  • Emanuel Benitez “Manu” (Canta-Autor Nayarit)
  • Viento Callejero (Cumbia Urbana)
  • Son Cache (son Cubano, Salsa)


  • EL MARIACHI MANCHESTER ( The Smiths / Morrissey Mariachi Tribute)
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Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Are Completely Different

Dia De Los Muertos

In the past few years, Día de los Muertos – or Day of the Dead in English – costumes have been popping up at Halloween stores and parties. It’s understandable. People are drawn to the gorgeous imagery, where macabre meets magnificent.

The two-day holiday’s proximity to Halloween has led many to mislabel it as “Mexican Halloween,” a title that’s not only inaccurate, but culturally insensitive.

Amber Lena’s post, “Day of the Dead, Sugar Skulls, and the Question of Cultural Appropriation,” contrasts “spooky” Halloween with “bright, cheerful” Día de los Muertos and calls out Día de los Muertos imagery that is used for Halloween costumes as appropriation.

“All those ‘Pocahontas’ and Native American costumes you see each year? That’s cultural appropriation. But so are the ‘Mexican’ and ‘Sugar Skull’ costumes (and every other costume that seeks to mimic cultural or ethnic clothing),” Lena writes. “Painting your face like a sugar skull for Halloween? Definitely cultural appropriation.”

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Newest American Holiday: “Dia De Los Muertos”

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Dia de los Muertos is anything but dead, and it’s increasingly coming to life in Southern California in old and new ways.

With Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead approaching, the number and kinds of events are growing in the Southland. Concert promoters, art galleries featuring Mexican folk art and merchants — big and small — are taking advantage of these celebrations and in some cases extending the merchandising of Halloween.

Once observed quietly in Latino communities, U.S. festivities are becoming more mainstream and, typically, louder and more visible than in years past. Corporations are getting more involved as sponsors and participants. Theme parks are adding Latino touches to their Halloween attractions. Party stores have amped up their offerings. And bakeries are already cooking up special treats.

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Champurrado Recipe

What is Champurrado?

Champurrado is defined as the warm and thick Mexican version of hot, sweet and spicy chocolate drink based on masa (hominy flour), piloncillo, water or milk, vanilla, and sometimes containing cinnamon, chilies, anise as well as other spices. Champurrado is traditionally served along with churros as a simple breakfast but is a popular drink during Dia de los Muertos.

Ingredients for 6 Servings

  • 1/3 cup masa harina flour
  • 3 cups water, mixed with
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (3 ounce) disks mexican chocolate (Nestle’s Abuelita and the Mexican Ibarra brands are commonly found in Spanish bodegas)


  1. In a mixing bowl combine the masa or masa harina with 1 cup of the water-milk mixture, stiring until smooth.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the masa mixture, the remaining 4 cups water, and the salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened to the consistency of thin cooked cereal, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the chocolate and continue to stir until melted and thoroughly combine.
  5. Optional: Remove from the heat and beat with a whisk, egg beater, handheld electric mixer, or a traditional wooden molinillo.
  6. Continue to whisk until a thick froth forms on top.
  7. Pour into cups and spoon some foam on top.

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Calabaza en Tacha Recipe

What is Calabaza en Tacha?

This recipe is similar to candied yams, and is a great use for pumpkin.In Mexico, candied pumpkins are often used on the family altars during Dia de los Muertos and after Halloween, all of the leftover pumpkins go on sale and it is the perfect time to enjoy the fall harvest. This recipe is also non-fat.

Ingredients for 4-6 People

  • 1 4-5 lbs pumpkin approx.
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 lbs piloncillo (you can use brown sugar or raw sugar)


  1. Cut the pumpkin into medium (2½” to 3″ squares or triangles). Remove seeds and strings. With a sharp knife make diamond designs over the pulp
  2. Put the sugar in a pan with the cinnamon, orange juice, and water. Bring to a boil and stir until the piloncillo has dissolved.
  3. Place the first layer of pieces of pumpkin upside down so they absorb as much juice as possible. The second layer should be with the pulp upwards. Cover and simmer. When ready the top of the pumpkin pieces should look somewhat glazed, and the pulp soft and golden brown.
  4. Let cool and serve with the syrup. You can also add cold evaporated milk!  The flavors are enhanced after a few hours of refrigeration.
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Pan de Muerto Recipe

Pan De Muerto Recipe

Pan De Muerto Recipe

What is Pan De Muerto?

One of the more traditional dishes seen at Día de los Muertos celebrations is Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead). This traditional round loaf of bread has strips of dough rolled out and attached on top to represent bones and skulls. This bread is eaten and left on gravesites or on altars as part of the festivities.

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  • Starter
  • 1 lb. (450 grams; 4 scant cups) unbleached flour, plus extra for the bowl and working surface)
  • ½ oz. (15 grams; 1¼ tsp.) sea salt
  • 2 oz. (60 grams; ¼ cup sugar)
  • ~ Scant 1 ounce (25 grams; 3 scant Tbsp.) crumbled cake yeast or 1½ scant Tbsp. dry yeast
  • ½ cup (125 milliliters) plus 2 Tbsp. water
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ~ Unsalted butter, for greasing the bowl
  • Final dough
  • ½ lb. (225 grams; 1 cup) sugar
  • 7 oz. (200 grams; 14 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the baking sheets
  • 1 lb. (450 grams; 4 scant cups) unbleached flour, plus extra for the board and bowl
  • 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten with 2 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ cup (65 milliliters) water, approximately
  • 1 tsp. orange-flower water and/or grated rind of 1 orange
  • Glaze
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup (65 milliliters) melted unsalted butter, approximately
  • ⅓ cup (85 milliliters) sugar, approximately


  1. Make the starter: Put the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and gradually beat in the water and eggs. Continue beating until the dough forms a cohesive mass around the dough hook, about 5 minutes; it should be sticky, elastic, and shiny. Turn out onto a floured board and form into a round cushion shape. Butter and flour a clean bowl. Place the dough in it and cover with greased plastic wrap and a towel, and set aside in a warm place (ideally 70 degrees) until the dough doubles in volume, about 2 hours.
  2. Make the dough: Tear the starter into small pieces. Put the starter, sugar, and butter into a mixing bowl and mix well, gradually beating in the flour and egg yolks alternately. Beat in the water and flavoring — you should have a slightly sticky, smooth, shiny dough that just holds it shape (since eggs, flours, and climates differ, you may need to reduce or increase the liquid). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a round cushion shape.
  3. Wash out the mixing bowl, butter and flour it, and replace the dough in it. Cover with greased plastic wrap and a towel, and set aside in a warm place (ideally 70 degrees) for about 1½ hours, until it almost doubles in size, or set aside overnight in the bottom of the refrigerator.
  4. Form the bread: Liberally grease 4 baking sheets. Bring the dough up to room temperature before attempting to work with it. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough into two equal pieces. Set one aside for forming later.
  5. Take three-quarters of the dough and roll it into a smooth ball. Press it out to a circle about 8 inches in diameter — it should be about 1 inch thick. Press all around the edge to form a narrow ridge, like the brim of a hat, and transfer to one of the greased baking sheets. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place (about 70 degrees) to rise about half its size again, about 1 hour.
  6. Taking the remaining one-quarter of the dough, divide it into four equal parts. Roll one of the parts into a smooth ball. Roll the other three into strips about 8 inches long, forming knobs as you go for the “bones.” Transfer the four pieces to another greased tray, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for about 1 hour.
  7. Repeat these steps to form the second bread with the other piece of dough that was set aside.
  8. Assemble the bread: At the end of the rising period, carefully place the strips of dough forming the “bones” across the main part of the bread, place the round ball in the middle to form the “skull,” and press your finger in hard to form the eye sockets. Brush the surface of the dough well with the beaten yolks.
  9. Bake the bread: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. When the oven is ready, bake the bread at the top of the oven until well browned and springy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the oven, open the door, and let the bread sit there for about 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle well with sugar.


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Sugar Skulls Recipe

Sugar Skull Recipe

Sugar Skull Recipe

What are Sugar Skulls?
Sugar skulls are skulls shaped from sugar! Traditional Sugar Skulls are made from a granulated white sugar mixture that is pressed into special skull molds. The sugar mixture is allowed to dry and then the sugar skull is decorated with icing, colored foil ,feathers, and more. While the ingredients of Sugar Skulls are edible (with the exception of the non-edible decorations you may add) the skulls are generally used for decorative purposes. However some small sugar skulls that are made with basic icing are intended to be consumed.

Ingredients for 8 Skulls

  • 1 egg white (essential for hardening of the sugar)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • vanilla extract or anise extract or cinnamon extract (optional – if you plan on eating them)
  • food coloring (The brighter the better)
  • sequins


  1. Combine the egg white and water and bring to a  foam
  2. Add extract (if using) and corn syrup.
  3. Add confectioners sugar; you’ll end up having to use your hands to incorporate all of it.
  4. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cornstarch on a work surface and knead the sugar paste in the cornstarch until it’s smooth.
  5. Form a ball and wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  6. Pinch off some of the sugar paste to use with food coloring for decorations.
  7. With the rest of the paste you should have enough for about 8 skulls; they don’t have to be very big, less than the size of a small fist.
  8. Sculpt the piece of sugar paste into a skull shape, smoothing the surface as you go and forming eye sockets, etc. (Check out the internet for some good samples).
  9. You’ll find that the paste gets softer and softer the warmer it gets– if it sticks too much, add more cornstarch.
  10. Add food colors (and extracts, if using) to the sugar paste that you set aside; generally the brighter the colors the better.
  11. If you wish, you can add enough water to form more of an icing and it can be squeezed onto the skulls, if not, forming decorations by hand is okay, too.
  12. The skulls are generally”cheery” looking and colorful, not particularly scary.
  13. Finish by using some fun sequins in the eye sockets for decoration!
  14. Now your skull is ready to dry.
  15. Simply let it sit out in a dry, warm place for a few hours or up to a couple of days based on weather conditions.
  16. Show them off to all your friends!


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La Llorona is back at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights!

Universal Studios Hollywood Haunt

Universal Studios Hollywood Haunt

Universal Studios Hollywood announces the chilling return of ‘La Llorona,’ the fearful story of melancholy and murder that has terrified Mexican and Latin American children for generations, to its Halloween Horror Nights event of authentically disturbing mazes. Beginning September 21, 2012, the 500-year-old legend comes to life anew in the maze, ‘La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños’ or ‘Weeping Woman: The Child Hunter.’

‘La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños’ will feature immersive environments depicting scenes and imagery of a rural Mexican village. This year’s maze will tell the haunting story of ‘La Llorona,’ a beautiful girl named Maria from a poor village who desperately sought to win the affection of a rich nobleman. Rejected and grief stricken, she drowns her children in a river. Overcome with anguish, she drowns herself in a bitter end. According to legend, Maria’s tormented and distressed spirit wanders the earth, eternally piercing the night with mournful cries, “My children! Where are my children?” ― giving rise to her name, ‘La Llorona’ or ‘The Weeping Woman.’ La Llorona’s frail, drenched body lurking throughout the dead of night will invariably elicit unwavering dread from the helpless village inhabitants or maze guests, as her presence signifies impending death.

The ‘La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños’ maze will lure guests into rotting chambers and crypts flanked by decomposed and tortured souls who have met the cruel fate of death and the mournful cries of ‘La Llorona.’ The maze disturbingly journeys guests through the mind’s eye of a child’s nightmare seeded with all the dread, gore and evil that can be imagined.

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“At its core, La Llorona is a ghost story so we’re building off the very successful elements of last year’s haunted attraction by adding brand new special effects that speak more to the paranormal side of the story. It’s like tapping into a child’s imagination and creating physical manifestations of those fears. Ultimately, we hope it leads to an even more terrifying experience,” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“Last year we brought the legend of La Llorona to life for the first time as a maze at Halloween Horror Nights. It was wildly popular with guests familiar with the story and those introduced to the legend for the very first time,” said Murdy. “At that time, I had the opportunity to speak with many of our guests, who shared their personal stories of La Llorona, particularly how she haunted their dreams as children. I found this to be a particularly compelling perspective and created this year’s maze to tell the story of La Llorona through the eyes of a child.”

Beginning September 21, 2012, Halloween Horror Nights will bring 19 fear-filled nights with numerous terror-filled “Scare Zones” and unrivaled film production quality mazes uniquely themed to today’s most definitive horror properties to deliver the most compelling, spine-chilling, haunted attractions.

This year’s Halloween Horror Nights dates are:
In Hollywood, Ca
September 21, 22, 28, 29
October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31

In Orlando, Florida they are:
September 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30
October 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31

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