While these two traditions are celebrated on the same day their origins are not believed to overlap. Dia de Muertos is the Mexican tradition when people gather together to pray for and remember close family and friends who have died. The holiday is observed on October 31 and skulls and skeletons are used as symbols to support the dead on their spiritual journey.
Halloween, also celebrated on October 31 has it’s roots in Celtic harvest festivals. A fun holiday, this one was shocking to me when I first moved to the States. The macabre and gory decorations and costumes were way beyond anything I’d seen in Australia (where this holiday hasn’t really caught on). It’s spring time out there so there are no jack’o’lanterns and the costumes are much less frightening!
I decided to observe both celebrations this year with these sweet and silly cupcakes. I just used my favorite white cake recipe. I made the icing using powdered (icing) sugar, two drops of red food coloring to make pink, and a couple of tablespoons of hot water. The decorations are from my local craft store (Michael’s), and I used some red glitter icing in a tube for the blood!