Today is El Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead ~ a traditional Mexican holiday where families gather to remember and pray for their loved ones. This day has always intrigued and fascinated me. Personally, I'd rather celebrate the life of those who passed before me than mourn their loss ~ it doesn't mean that I'm less sad that they are no longer part of my daily life, it just gives me a sense of peace that is often hard to achieve when you've lost someone dear to you.
The skull is a widely used symbol of this day ~ one that seems less morbid and actually quite beautiful, as they are decorated with flowers and even made of things like sugar. Being raised Catholic, I'm familiar with "All Saints Day", which is also today ~ but I can tell you that I've never observed it.
The skull in the photo is a sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle that was on display along with many of her other works at the Missouri Botanical Garden when we visited this past summer. It was really quite extraordinary, so I wanted to share it as a symbol of this day. Niki's work is amazing (she passed away in 2002) ~ be sure to check it out if you ever get the chance.