Prepare for the happy, annual fiesta of Los Días de Muertos, the Mexican holiday with these cultural theme pumpkin and gourd stencil templates. These Halloween carving printable pumpkins are both whimsical and adapted from historic decorated skull artifacts, painted faces and body tattoos.
The festival is a blend of pre-Hispanic civilization beliefs. The pre-Hispanic peoples believed death to be a transition from one life to another level. The holiday covers a three-day period and is widely celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and in other Latin countries.
The main purpose of the festival is for families and friends to pay homage to their past loved ones through ritual and prayer. Although it sounds gruesome, a party with painted skulls, it's not at all doom and gloom. Families gather to place baked food upon altars or ofrendas. Other people write letters and poems to lost loved ones. There is much singing, laughing and celebrations among families and friends who behave just as though their departed were there, walking among the partygoers. Possession of Day of the Dead items is believed by some to bring good luck and fortune.
Historians and scholars have traced the origins of the Día de los Muertos back hundreds of years to the Aztec festival for the goddess Mictecacihuatl. During pre-Hispanic days, human skulls were collected and kept as trophies to be ritualistically displayed to symbolize death and rebirth. How it came to be in the current festival form is a long and fascinating tale well worth researching.
Festival and carnival Latino Jack O-Lantern stencils are great child craft activities that will keep young children busy for hours, and provide endless decorating ideas for Halloween costume parties and games. With these stencils you can create any number of festival decorations from simple carved pumpkins to paper maché masks to shrink art necklaces and brooches to wear.