Sugar skull tattoos are huge right now! Immensely meaningful, but also rad, classy, exotic, a little different; they are the perfect kind of tat for those with a little bit of a dark side. The sugar skull is one of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos iconic symbols. So symbolic in fact, could you see a sugar skull and not think of Dia de los Muertos? Whether Mexico is part of your personal heritage, you feel a special kinship to the holiday, or have traveled there for the festivities, these tattoos are pretty popular right now, and are a pretty sweet way to tip your hat to the Day of the Dead.
The symbolism of the sugar skull and Day of the Dead is long, and can be traced to the ancient Aztec times, when skulls were objects of power and energy. On November 1 and 2, the Day of the Dead, skulls hold an especially high meaning, when they are used to conjure the souls of departed loved ones to return. So what is a “sugar skull?” Authentic sugar skulls are truly made of molded sugar, ornately decorated, and then emblazoned with the name of the deceased person. The skull is then placed on the gravestone for welcoming. While traditional depictions of skulls generally evoke the darker side of death, sugar skulls are more of a positive motif, and they are meant to preserve the memory of those who have passed, rather than cause feelings of dread. Imagine a happy, light and fluffy skull!
As far as trendy tattoos go, these are really fun. The sugar skull meaning is deep but still visually appealing. They let the wearer get really creative with a traditional and very symbolic design, and there is no shortage of the individuality that can be done!
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