Day of the Dead Colors

The celebration of the Day of the Dead is punctuated by the use of vivid colors in objects ranging from sugar skulls to fine art.  Colors are used by various artists, craftsmen, and other individuals in a way that highlights the serious but gentle and sometimes lighthearted remembrance of those who have passed.  Many colors are used in many combinations during the Day of the Dead celebration but some do have specific cultural meanings for many people.

The color RED is thought to represent the blood in our human lives.  Christians will see red as the color of the blood of Jesus.

Orange is often used to represent the sun.

Yellow in the Mexican Marigold has been defined as representing death.

Purple is a color that represents grief and pain in Day of the Dead celebrations.  In other cultures and times purple would symbolize wealth and royalty.

Pink is the color of hope, purity, and celebration.

White is also thought to represent purity and hope.

The combination of the color purple with orange and pink is commonly used on the altars, or ofrendas, during the Day of the Dead celebration.

Black is a color that symbolizes the land of the dead.

There are a series of other items that are considered to be symbols of The Day of the Dead.

When death and rebirth are being considered they are represented by the Skull.  The skull symbol is used in, on, and around almost every aspect of the Day of the Dead celebration.

Pan de Muerto is a sweet bread that is baked so that it appears to display skeleton bones on the crust, and is said to represent dead souls.

Incense is commonly used at Day of the Dead altars to represent the physical to spiritual change in life.

Adult mature souls are symbolized by yellow flowers on the Day of the Dead altar.