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Sugar Skull Tattoo Meaning

Updated on October 9, 2013

What Does A Sugar Skull Tattoo Mean?

The sugar skull is not a very common tattoo, but the sugar skull tattoo meaning is quite intense. It has a lot of meaning in Mexican culture and is the main symbol representing Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Ancestors who have passed away are represented by clay molded sugar skulls which are painted and decorated, the names of the departed are added to the forehead of the skull and then the skull is placed on the gravestone to encourage the departed loved one to appear on the Day of the Dead.

Sugar skull Tattoo Meaning

Sugar skull tattoos are generally quite large because they contain a lot of detail and color that is not clear in a smaller moderate sized tattoo. If you have just one sugar skull, you can have whatever size you like, but if you have more than one it generally represents the ages of the people whom you are commemorating. The smaller skulls usually represent those of children while the larger skulls are those of adults.

There are many meanings behind the sugar skull tattoo. If you would like to remember someone special in your life, you can honor their memory with a sugar skull tattoo. If the skull represents a specific person, their name must be placed on the forehead portion of the tattoo. The rest of the skull must be completely decorated and there should not be writing anywhere else except on the forehead. The sugar skull tattoo meaning can be death, remembrance, return or a symbol of spirituality.

Sugar Skull Tattoo - Traditional flowers

The most traditional flower that is often seen together with a sugar skull is a marigold. Marigolds are important in Mexican culture in that they commemorate and honour the dead. Any type of flower is acceptable with the sugar skull, but marigolds are the most common because they are traditional. The vibrant orange and yellow colors can punctuate the tattoo and make it stand out more.

Why are there such bright colors in a sugar skull tattoo?

The main sugar skull tattoo meaning represents a celebration of a life. The skulls that are depicted in the artwork are not frightening or morbid, and they generally contain a minimum of four colors. The tradition of sugar skulls helps to let the living know that their loved ones have found peace. The souls of the departed have moved on to a higher existence free from any pain, suffering or anxiety that they had to deal with in the mortal world. The skulls are designed to be bright and cheerful, being a celebration of the life that once was.

Memorializing a loved one with a special tattoo

The sugar skull is a permanent marking that memorializes a loved one that you have lost. People will probably wonder about the skull when they see it and many will be drawn to the vibrant colors and may stare at it. If it is something that you want to keep private, then have it applied somewhere that it cannot be seen publicly. The Mexican culture has an optimistic view of death, they do not see it as a morbid celebration to decorate a symbol of a loved one who has passed on with a sugar skull tattoo. The bonds that connect the dead with the living are joyful and hopeful and the sugar skull puts that into perspective for many of those who are still living when it comes to memorializing a loved one who has passed on.

A sugar skull is a personal symbol that has meaning to the person who is having the tattoo inked on. Be a part of the design if you wish, or choose the style of skull that you want to be a part of the design. Choose the flowers and the colors that are going to be applied and add your own spin on the tattoo, it is going to be something that is personal to you, so it should be something that you love to look at. When you look at your skull, it should have a deep meaning to you, being a connection to someone who has passed away and whom you wish to memorialize in your own special way.

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