The Day of the Dead festival has become very popular, not only in Mexico, where it originated, but around the world, too. The motifs available in the Day of the Dead or also suited very well to tattooing which explains the rise of the Day of the Dead tattoos. Bold reds, blacks, and whites feature heavily.
The Day of the Dead festival has its roots in Mexico and can be traced back before the colonization of Central America. According to some experts, it can be traced back to about 3000 years, a thousand years before Christ. Before the Spanish brought Catholicism to the region, the natives of the area kept skulls as trophies. These objects were symbols and death and rebirth and were celebrated during a festival which is now known as the Day of the Dead.
The festival takes place around the same time as the Catholic holidays like All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The Day of the Dead also corresponds with the Halloween holiday that is celebrated in North America and now around the world.
These festivities are historically dedicated to the goddess “Lady of the Dead.” Her image is quite popular in tattoo culture and can be seen in many forms. In most parts of Mexico, the 1 of November marks children who have passed and the following day is dedicated to deceased adults.
Lady of the Dead and Skull Tattoo
This masterpiece captures the true essence of the goddess Lady of the Dead in all her zombie like beauty holding a skull. Her gaze is haunting and the black and white shading adds to the darkness of the character. The white rose on her head is in contrast to the skull that she holds in her hand. This tattoo is great for both males and females who want to commemorate this holiday on their skin.
In the Presence of a Goddess Tattoo
In the Presence of a Goddess tattoo celebrate the Lady of the Dead with symbols of life as well. Her mouth is sewn shut, her eyes are static in a distant gaze, but as holds her face in her palms you can see the decoration around her eyes and the red roses in her hair. These colorful signs of life symbolize the rebirth that this holiday also represents.
The Lady and the Sombrero Tattoo
This tattoo shows the goddess in a festive mood with a Mexican sombrero hat. She is still somber but more lively with earrings and platted hair. The Lady of the dead is depicted in many ways and this is one of the uncommon ones.
Day of the Dead Mariachi Tattoo
When you think of Mexico, you think of mariachi bands and the day of the dead. This tattoo embraces both aspects of the culture with a skeleton of a dead mariachi still playing his guitar. This tattoo represents the celebratory aspect of the festival and is an interesting way to commemorate the holiday on your skin.
Day of the Dead Lovers Tattoo
The Day of the Dead Lovers tattoo is a great piece for a couple to ink and cement their commitment to each other. Not only does it symbolize the Day of the Dead, it also symbolizes everlasting love. Each individual takes on of the skeleton figures on their arm and when you come together with your partner, the dead couple will also embrace. It’s a unique tattoo that works well on its own and even better when you are with your significant other.
Painted Skull of the Dead
This representation of the Mexican holiday celebrates death and rebirth with an explosion of color. It has a 60s hippy feel to it as the skull is decorated with colorful flowers and the head is also smiling. This tattoo will work well on the arm or the chest and it is a lighthearted illustration of the Day of the Dead.
The Lady of the Dead, the Autumn Queen
This depiction of the Lady of the Dead is both bloodied and thought provoking. The keyhole on her forehead symbolizes the entrance into the world of the dead and the expression on her face is almost welcoming. The redish leaves on her head represent the decay of the autumn season as the lady awaits for the rebirth of spring.
Real Life Goddess of the Dead
This tattoo takes a picture of a real girl and turns the image into a tattoo of the Lady of the Dead. It is a morbid and unusual way to pay homage to the goddess, but it is definitely a fantastic tattoo. The girl is the picture is captured perfectly in the black and white shading and adding the features of death and decay being the Lady of the Dead to life.
Day of the Dead Mariachi Cowboy Tattoo
This cartoonish depiction of dead mariachi cowboy celebrates the festival with bullets and flowers. It’s a great tattoo for those of you who are not serious about content of your ink. Although the image represents death, this tattoo leaves you with a smile of your face mirroring the skull in the image.
Songs of the Dead
This tattoo is a fantastic tattoo of a dead mariachi in mid song playing his guitar. The intricate details of this tattoo make it a black and white masterpiece that is an ultimate Day of the Dead tattoo. When you see this image, you can easily imagine this mariachi serenading your ancestors and the goddess for all eternity!