To the unfamiliar, it may be surprising that the exuberant marigold is the traditional flower for Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, the Latin American holiday celebrated today and Wednesday.
Additional Flowers Used for Day of the Dead Decorations. Although marigolds are the most closely associated flower with the Day of the Dead, other blooms are often used or found at the altars or near the resting pace of the deceased as well to honor deceased loved ones.
Day of the Dead flowers is the name given in Mexico to the flowers used to decorate tombstones and altars during the Day of the Dead celebrations. It is believed that the scent of the flowers will make the returning souls feel welcomed and happy.
In modern Mexico the marigold is sometimes called Flor de Muerto (Flower of Dead). These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. It is also believed the bright petals with a strong scent can guide the souls from cemeteries to their family homes. Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or "the little angels ...
Flowers are a symbol of the impermanence and fragility of life and have many uses in Day of the Dead celebrations. They are used to adorn graves and offerings along with candles, special foods for Day of the Dead such as bread called pan de muerto, sugar skulls and other items. Sometimes the petals of the flowers are pulled out and used to make ...
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Flowers that symbolize death include black roses, which traditionally portend death. Black roses such as black ice and black pearl actually are dark-red roses. Another flower associated with death is the chrysanthemum.In many European countries, chrysanthemums are only used for funerary bouquets or on graves.
Marigolds, or flowers in general, also represent the fragility of life. The marigold most commonly used in Dia de los Muertos celebrations is the Targetes erecta, Mexican marigold or Aztec marigold, otherwise known as cempasuchitl or flower of the dead. Mexican marigolds are quite tall, reaching up to 3′.
A flower is a beautiful symbol of life, but those simple petals can also represent peace after death and happiness in the afterlife. Since the Ancient Greeks first started leaving asphodel on the graves of their departed loved ones, there has been a continuous record of funeral flowers you can draw on.
The flower symbolizes remembrance. These blooms are popular in Dia de los Muertos celebrations as well. The stalks are in bouquets alongside marigolds and mums, adorning ofrendas, or laid on the graves of loved ones who have passed. These flowers grow in a wide variety of colors, so they contribute to the vibrancy of the holiday.