What is the meaning of a Sugar Skull Tattoo, why is the sugar skull such an iconic symbol and why is it the inspiration for thousands of tattoos? Below you will find out the origin and meaning behind this popular tattoo design.
Since the dawn of time it has served as the symbol for death itself. It has long since insinuated fear, suggesting what is to come and what has been, the reigning icon of darkness.
“What is left of man when the final breath has passed thy lips?
Into soil his vessel laid, the soul leaves but a void.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust and skin from bone…
No mind, no heart, no company to keep.
Limb and flesh no more.
Body broken, numb and null.
Hollow bone and empty skull.”
Despite this common perception of it being the icon and symbol for all things dark, it also has a much more significant meaning to it.
Since Aztec times people brought tribute to “The lady of the Dead”
Today, and as it has been for thousands of years, Mexican tradition pays tribute to loved ones lost.
Each year they celebrate “Day of the Dead” in memory of those who have passed. During these celebrations they dedicate gifts and offerings to their dead. This celebration is a somewhat festive occasion, and is held to remember the good memories, and happy times spent with those loved ones.
Most commonly, the Sugar Skull. A candy treat, as the name implies made from sugar, offered as a tribute to the memory and life of someone who has passed away. Bright and colourful, as it represents joy, happiness and memories treasured. The name of the person it is intended for is usually carved on the forehead. The Sugar Skull has become a very popular tattoo trend. The meaning behind the sugar skull tattoo should be respected and preserved. Despite it being of one concept and origin, it can as a tattoo, be very unique and personal. The original principal of this tattoo is to decorate it with things reminiscent of the person passed. Different symbols, ideas and designs can be incorporated into this tattoo to make it as unique as not only you, but also the person it is dedicated to.
The “Day of the Dead” is celebrated each year in Mexico. These celebrations take place on the 1st and 2nd day of November. The celebrations are a tribute to the dead. It coincides with the catholic holidays that take place on those days.
The 1st day of November hosts tribute to children that have died.
“Dia de los Inocentes”, or “Day of the Innocents”, also known as “Dia de los Angelitos” or “Day of the Little Angels.
The 2nd day is “Dia de los Meurtos” or “Day of the Dead”. This day is a tribute to adults who have passed. Believe also has it that on the second day the souls of the dead join in celebration.
The families and friends of deceased loved ones plan and prepare months in advance for “Day of the Dead”. During this time graves are visited, and relatives and friends are known to spend hours on end at cemeteries, some even spending the entire night.
Symbolic to these celebrations are the gifts and offerings or “ofrendas” dedicated to the deceased. Favourite foods are prepared for dead. Families leave it in their homes or take it to their graves. Offerings of beverages and alcohol are presented to their dead, things that the dead enjoyed, loved and adored as mere mortals are offered to them now, in this new life.
Getting a sugar skull tattoo is a great symbol of respect and remembrance to your loved ones that passed. The sugar skull tattoo can be a beautiful, colourful and unique tattoo.
Finding tattoo ideas for a sugar skull tattoo is pretty easy, but it is recommended to design your own, or finding a tattoo artist to help you design it, this will add meaning to your tattoo, because you could add symbols, patterns and designs that represent your loved one.
Most tattoo artist will be happy to help you design your tattoo, incorporating your vision and ideas for the tattoo and make it unique to you, meaning there will be no other tattoo quite like it, it would be between you and your loven one alone.