Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Where will you be for Día de los Muertos?

Day of the Dead or “Día de los Muertos” is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1st  & 2nd. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.

They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.

Angela from Mexican Sugar Skull.com says it best 
“It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of our loved ones who are now gone… through art, cooking, music, building ofrendas, doing activities with our children, we can recount family stories, fun times and lessons learned… not how the person died, but how they lived.”

There is nothing as beautiful and unusual as a sugar skull!

While there are many traditions that are practiced during Day of The Dead, one of our most favorites is the art of making sugar skulls!

Sugar skulls date back to the Colonial period in Mexico where they represented a departed soul. Skulls were personalized with names written in icing by the market salesperson. Skulls adorn home altars and cemetery tombs and are a festive icon of the holiday! Boiled sugar that is molded in clay skull molds are the norm but the few that decorate in fine detail take center stage. Sugar skulls are to be kept as folk art - not to be eaten.

Sugar skull making is a tradition that passed on from generation to generation. These boiled sugar confections are considered true folk art, made by artisans in fewer and fewer places each year. 

If kept dry, they look beautiful for years!

We here at collage want to do what we can to keep this amazing tradition going! 

So, right here in our supply shops you will be able to purchase sugar skull molds to create your own celebrations!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

It's collage's FAVORITE time of year! but WATCH OUT for Stingy Jack!!

We at collage just LOVE Halloween! 
Every year we work hard to gather and curate creepy items to give our customers a truly unique and spooky shopping experience!
Scroll down for some pictures of some of 
our new arrivals and 
historical info about how Halloween began... 

Check out some of our most favorite offerings to the spirits as they crossover! 
These items and more are available now in all three of our supply shops, and stock varies by location!! 
Stop in and make sure you are prepared for when those irritated ghosts come knocking!! 

Halloween History
The Celts thought that at the end of the Summer the layer between their world and the spirit world was thinnest otherwise known as “Samhain”. 
It was believed that at during this time spirits and unworldly creatures could break through and wander the Earth.
Dance of Death courtesy of  author and researcher Author and Researcher Jon Kaneko-James
Folklorist John Santino explained that “Halloween gave people a safe way to play with the concept of death, engage in supernatural activities, and dress up in ways that were not socially acceptable the rest of the year.”

Did you know that the practice of carving a Jack-O-Lantern began with turnips instead of pumpkins? The story that was passed down was about a man name Stingy Jack who repeatedly trapped the Devil and only let him go on the condition that Jack would never go to Hell. When he died, however, Jack learned that Heaven didn’t really want his soul either, so he was condemned to Earth as a ghost for all eternity. He carved a turnip and put a lump of burning coal inside to light his way as he wandered the Earth in a very bad mood!
Image copyright granted by Timothy Zulewski http://www.cricketbow.com
Then eventually, locals began carving frightening faces into their own gourds to scare off evil spirits.

The idea of wearing costumes was due to the fact that since Stingy Jack and all these other unfriendly spirits were walking around, the Celts got creative and began wearing costumes to “blend in” and avoid being terrorized!
Bats are believed to have become associated with Halloween because during Samhain, large bonfires were ignited, which attracted bugs and in turn bats!
Black cats got a bad rap that actually dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, when these sweet felines were considered a symbol of the Devil. It made it even harder to shake off that reputation when centuries later, accused witches were often found to have cats and more frequently black ones as companions. So, people started thinking these cats assisted the witches with their dark magic and since then the two have been associated ever since!