150 Greatest Day of the Dead Tattoos

One of the scariest and most popular forms of contemporary tattoo art is the Day of the dead tattoos. To understand more about these unique tattoo designs, one needs to learn about this unusual festival called the day of the dead. The Day of the Dead is a unique Mexican custom, which is used to honor the dead and the departed loved ones. The festival falls between October 31 and November 2 every year and can be termed as the Mexican version of the Halloween. In fact, this festival coincides with the holidays of the Halloween and All Saint Days, which are important festivals in some other countries. The history of this day goes back to 3000 years ago, far before the colonization of the Central American region. It was the era when skulls were preserved by people as symbolic of death and rebirth and the festival of the Day of the dead was started to be celebrated in memory of the loved ones who had died. The families got together on this occasion and did a special kind of makeup caked Calaveras which resembled a skeleton, while sugar skulls also formed a vital part of the celebration of the festival. Another significant element of the festival of the Day of the Dead is the goddess called the Lady of the Dead, whose image is the key element.

These days, the world of tattooing really keeps of evolving causing some tattoo innovations to come out like the day of the dead. These tattoos are among those modern day tattoos that are engraved by numerous men and women tattoo lovers in the world who are not afraid to try new things when it comes to tattooing. These tattoos however, may be very scary for some. It is simply because the main design of these tattoos is the human skull that is decorated with some other designs depending on the personal preference of the wearers. Before you get scared or amazed with these tattoos, you should take time knowing some more important information about them apart from their appearance.

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For you to know, this art is actually inspired by the world renowned unusual festival, which is known as the Day of the Dead. Such holiday is celebrated all throughout the world, and one other name of the festival is the Halloween. The said festival is actually a Mexican custom that is already adopted by a number of people in the entire world. This festival is yearly done in order to honor those people who were already dead.

Day of the Dead Tattoos Meanings

They are just like the other body tattoos that have different meanings and symbolism, depending on the entire designs. This goes to show that you should not judge these tattoos with their scary appearance. Just in case you do not know, the colors of these tattoos actually have something to do with their individual meanings. Yes, you read it right. The colors may greatly affect their real meanings, so you must know these meanings first before you finally decided to have these tattoos on your body. Here are some of these important meanings according to their colors:

  • Purple or Indigo – The purple or indigo color will simply symbolize the grief that you have got because of the loved one that you have just lost in this world. This is the best way to show your grief of losing him or her. The tattoo can also be the constant reminder of the pain that you have once felt because of that loved one of yours who was already in heaven.
  • Pink – The pink color of the tattoo is simply representing celebration and joy. This is the color of the tattoo that you should choose if you want happiness to be depicted. You might be asking if it is appropriate when your loved one was already dead. Well actually, this is for those people who are very happy that their abusive family member or husband was already dead. In case you are one of those people, then you can choose the pink color.
  • Orange – Orange is the color that you should choose if you want to showcase hope. This is good if you want to tell the other people that you still have a lot of hopes in within you despite the fact that your loved one is already dead. One explanation why orange is symbolizing hope is the fact that it is the color of the sun that represents new day and new beginning. It will also remind you that you can make it through even though you already lost the precious life of your loved one.
  • White – This is the color chosen by those people who have already accepted that their loved ones have gone in this world, and this is according to the will of the Lord, God. In other words, they can do nothing about it anymore. This is the one being chosen for those who wish for the purity of the spirit of their loved ones who already made it to the heaven.

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Popular Design Options

Creative tattoo artists have showcased a large number of designs in these tattoos, which look visually appealing and at the same time, reflect a special symbolic meaning. Here are some popular designs in Day of the Dead Tattoos:

  • Day of the Dead Mariachi Tattoo – Mariachi bands make a significant part of the Mexican culture and the festival of the Day of the Dead. This tattoo design which features the skeleton of a dead mariachi playing his guitar, symbolized the celebration of the festive occasion of the Day of the dead and remembering the deceased loved ones with joy. Another Mariachi tattoo can picture the mariachi playing the guitar and singing alongside, making a happy and playful illustration of this otherwise somber occasion.
  • Lady of the dead with a Skull Tattoo – Another popular design is the one featuring the Goddess, Lady of the Dead holding an skull. The scary looking tattoo shows her with fixed looks and is done in black and white to give it an amazing visual effect.
  • The lady and the Sombrero Tattoo – The Lady and the Sombrero tattoo pictures the Lady of the Dead in a playful mood, wearing the traditional Mexican Sombrero hat and having a fun time.
  • In the Presence of the Goddess Tattoo – This tattoo design depicts the true spirit of the festival of the day of the Dead, which treats death as a positive thing as it leads to rebirth. This particular design features the goddess with her gazing eyes and mouth sewn shut, looking in a distance with her face held in her palms.
  • Day of the Dead Lovers Tattoo – One of the best choices for couples tattoo is the Day of the Dead Lovers tattoo, which can be done on both the partners to show their love for each other as well as their commitment towards their mutual relationship. Both the partners have a skeleton featured on their forearms, which would seem to get into an embrace when the couple stands close together, standing witness to their everlasting love and faith towards each other.
  • The Autumn Queen Tattoo – This particular design shows the Lady of the dead in the form of the Autumn Queen. She is shown to have red leaves on her head, which stand as a symbol of death and decay, with a warm welcome to rebirth and a new life. Another Lady of the dead Tattoo shows a real life girl’s portrait in the form of the Goddess and pays homage to this tradition of death and rebirth in this unusual form.
  • Painted Skull of the dead – A fun loving and happy picture of the festival of the Day of the Dead is the tattoo called the Painted Skull of the Dead. This tattoo design uses a wide array of vibrant colors and is ideally placed on the chest of the bearer as it looks prominent at this location. It can also be inked on the arm or the shoulder.
  • Day of the Dead Mariachi Cowboy Tattoo – The mariachi is a popular depiction and this particular tattoo design pictures him as a cowboy, with a playful and happy smile on his face. The design talks of a serious issue like death in a humorous manner.

Depending upon the preference of the tattoo bearer, they can be done in the customary black and grey color or in a multi colored pattern, with the aim to depict the nature of the design, whether it needs to be somber or happy. The designer can also mould the expression of the skeleton to suit the requirement of the client.

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Symbolically speaking, the basic purpose of the Day of the Dead Art Tattoos is to commemorate the loved ones of the bearer, who are no longer in this world, but have reached their heavenly abodes. Many a times, it has been seen that a person gets the name of his dead parents, spouse or children tattooed as a toke of remembrance to them. Similarly, they represent these deceased loved ones in the skeletal form rather than their names or portraits, as it reinforces the fact that these people no longer exist in their earthly forms, rather they are present around as spirits. These tattoos portray the skeletons in brightly colored dresses and carrying objects like musical instruments such as guitars.

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Common Gorgeous Designs

You might be thinking that you will only have limited options in terms of designs for the scary yet gorgeous and meaningful day of the dead tattoos. Well, you might get disappointed the moment you know that these tattoos can offer a lot of options for the designs that you can opt to engrave on your own body. Some of these designs are the following:


  • The Autumn Queen Design – As its name suggests, this particular design will showcase the Autumn Queen, who is originally the Lady of the Dead. Red leaves must be placed on her head because these leaves will symbolize decay and death. Moreover, the leaves will also mean new life and rebirth. One alternative for the Autumn Queen Design is the portrait of a girl whom is being tattooed in the form of Goddess.
  • Day of the Dead Mariachi Design – Mariachi is actually a famous band in Mexico, which is the reason why it is being associated to the very unique Mexican occasion, which is the Day of the Dead. This design will showcase the skeleton Mariachi who is playing his own guitar. This tattoo is also perfect for you if you are idolizing Mariachi.
  • Painted Human Skull Design – In case you want to be playful with your art, it will be best for you to choose the painted human skull design since this will definitely fulfill your purpose of wearing such tattoo. It can showcase the happy and crazy side of yours since it will involve several vibrant colors. In fact, this particular design will never appear scary at all just like the other designs.
  • Sombrero and the Lady of the Dead Design – This is another design that is worth considering. The entire design will showcase the sombrero, which is a famous traditional Mexican hat. And of course, the Lady of the Dead is the star of the design.

Final Words

If you are brave enough to try new things when it comes to tattoos, then engraving the day of the dead tattoos on your body would be perfect for you. Stop thinking that these tattoos will not look good on you since they will certainly will. It is also not true that you cannot be playful with these tattoos.


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