Sugar Skulls Emma S. Barrientios Mexican American Cultural Center

Sugar Skulls are an offering placed on the ofrenda, or altars, for Day of the Dead. In Mexico, this celebration of life and death occurs Oct 31-Nov 2, and invites the memory of the deceased to visit the living. One way that families honor their ancestors is to place calaveras, or skulls, in various forms and this cheerful imagery even in a sweet treat reminds us of the sweetness of life.

Calaveras de Azucar/ Sugar Skulls:

Below are some Teaching Tools for the celebration of Day of the Dead at the ESB-MACC:

  1. Video Presentation on Sugar Skulls at the MACC (2018)
  2. Photo Gallery, Day of the Dead Celebrations at the MACC (2019)

Video Instruction on Sugar Skulls:

Teaching Idea #1: Talk about cultural traditions in your household. How are ancestors celebrated in your culture?

Teaching Idea #2: Further Reading: Skeletons at the Feast chronicles the history of the celebration of Dia de Los Muertos.

Teaching Idea #3: View photos and videos of Day of the Dead at the ESB-MACC. What do you notice? How does this celebration bring people together?

Teaching Idea #4: For Day of the Dead in October-November, eating pan de muerto, carefully arranging altars and decorating a sugar skulls are ways that families come together to celebrate their loved ones. See instructions on sugar skull making below!

Make a Sugar Skull! Supplies Needed:

• Sugar, confectioner's

• Sugar, granulated

• Bowl of water

• Merengue Powder

• Moulds for Sugar Skull

• Cardboard/ Spatula

• Things to decorate cards such as glitter, cotton balls, and feathers

Day of the Dead Celebration at the MACC (2017):

Day of the Dead Celebration at the MACC (2014):

Photos from Day of the Dead at the ESC-MACC in 2019
Created By
Olivia Tamzarian