Rituals to honor the dead have been going on in the part of the world we now call Mexico for approximately 2,500 years. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday or day of observance of the souls that have passed away before us.
Some type of festivity this time of the year pops up in lots of cultures. In fact, before Halloween became all about candy and Disney, ancient All Hallow’s Eve (Hallows = saints) was the night before Saints’ Day, a time when saints known and unknown were honored and the veil between the living and the dead was said to be thinner.
Going even further back, the Gaelic festival of Samhain, celebrated at this same time, both marked the end of the harvest and beginning of winter’s dark and ‘dead’ days.
Both Halloween and Día de los Muertos contain that combination of the dark and the light – the idea of dark spirits circling and the bright lit candles in skulls and jack-o-lanterns that ward them off.
Being the Nutcases that we are, we associate nearly every ritual or celebration with biking of one sort or another. So we weren’t surprised when our crafty Nutcase Mexico distributor Sarah Hamui came up with the great black and orange graphic design above. It celebrates the decorated sugar skulls that are a signature feature of Día de los Muertos, with a bicycle-parts twist.
Nor are we surprised that the good people at Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates have adopted Día de los Muertos as a theme for their great annual Velo Ball, or that numerous cities from London to Longmont, Colorado have Day of the Dead bicycle rides.
Commemorating all these efforts to mix and mingle with spirits we can’t see as well as protects ourselves from hazards we may (and may not!) be aware of,
Nutcase Helmets has a special Gen3 Día de los Muertos-inspired Bike & Skate helmet that will come available in March 2015.
The Spirits in the Sky helmet is decorated with those colorful sugar skull motifs and orange and red astro-dazzle flowers. We love the Spirits in the Sky theme so much we carried it over to one of our Nutcase accessory bells, also available in Spring 2015.
Scaring away the bad spirits, loving our brains, and wishing you a lovely Day of the Dead.