El Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, fuses ancient and contemporary beliefs in a celebration of the deceased by the living. The Day of the Dead evolved from Aztec rituals that honored departed loved ones, rulers and warriors. When the Spanish arrived in the New World, they co-opted indigenous beliefs by merging them with Catholic religious practices. November 2nd, an auspicious point in the annual agricultural cycle, is All Souls Day in the church and coincides with a Mexican and Central American tradition of making offerings to honor the dead. The 17th-century Europeans brought sugar skulls and special Masses to a population that already dedicated altars with ritual offerings - and festivals of dancing, singing and pageantry - to the memory of their ancestors. Today, Dia de los Muertos is a festival that begins at midnight on All Hallow's Eve - October 31 - and continues to November 2nd, All Souls Day. Day of the Dead tattoos incorporate in permanent ink all the multicultural ritual elements, in striking images that memorialize loved ones or the belief in life after death. A calavera tattoo or face painting is a skull image, by far the most common in Dia de los Muertos. These range from the colorful candied skulls to the rather goth cadaverous all-black, and vary in significance. The skull is almost always a woman, a tradition that stems from the original rituals that centered on a Mexican goddess and Spanish saints. This item will come packaged with care containing a description card along with a special thank you exclusively from us to show our appreciation to each of you for placing your spiritual gem needs in our hands.