What Do Sugar Skulls Symbolize?

Sugar skulls are decorative and edible items created in celebration of the Mexican holiday known as Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos); the skulls represent deceased loved ones. Occasionally, a skull will bear the loved one’s name on its forehead as part of an intricate sugar design.

In central and southern regions of Mexico, the Day of the Dead is celebrated from November 1 to November 2. The holiday coincides with the Mexican-Catholic celebrations of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Sugar skulls are a major element of the celebration, serving as both representations of the deceased as well as decorative elements on altars honoring lost loved ones.