60+ Day of the Dead Tattoos You Will Want to Get ASAP

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Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos is a widely popular Mexican holiday celebrated particularly in the Central and South regions of the country, but it is acknowledged internationally in many other cultures. Set between October 31 and November 2nd, it’s popularly known as the Halloween on Latin America, when people set time aside to remember those they’ve lost – family members, friends, or other loved ones. So why would you want to get a tattoo in honor of the Day of the Dead, one may ask? Well, first off, it is not at all uncommon for tattoo enthusiasts to get inked with the names or portraits of loved ones that have passed. While Day of the Dead tattoos are similar to traditional commemorative tattoos, there’s a huge difference: in this case, the loved ones are portrayed as skeletons, as a way to symbolize acceptance for their passing and celebration of their life. They are believed to be still alive in spirit, so the skeletons are usually designed in bright colors, dress, dancing, or playing musical instruments. And if you ask us, there’s no better way to remember a loved one than as happy and fulfilled, even though they’re no longer with us. So if you’re thinking about getting a Day of the Dead tattoo, we have some examples to get you inspired.

So why would you want to get a tattoo in honor of the Day of the Dead, one may ask? Well, first off, it is not at all uncommon for tattoo enthusiasts to get inked with the names or portraits of loved ones that have passed. While Day of the Dead tattoos are similar to traditional commemorative tattoos, there’s a huge difference: in this case, the loved ones are portrayed as skeletons, as a way to symbolize acceptance for their passing and celebration of their life. They are believed to be still alive in spirit, so the skeletons are usually designed in bright colors, dress, dancing, or playing musical instruments. And if you ask us, there’s no better way to remember a loved one than as happy and fulfilled, even though they’re no longer with us. So if you’re thinking about getting a Day of the Dead tattoo, we have some examples to get you inspired.

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The skeletons portrayed in Day of the Dead tattoos are usually wearing bright makeup or surrounded by lots of color. No complaints here. We’re very fond of colorful tattoos, and this one in particular almost takes our breath away. The addition of the roses was a smart choice.

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Besides color, skeletons are also sometimes sporting jewelry. In Mexican culture, a face that is half flesh and half skeleton symbolizes the ongoing cycle of life. As for the colors, red usually represents the blood of life and a symbol of sacrifice, while shades of blue symbolize grief or mourning.

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You don’t necessary needs color to depict a Day of the Day tattoo, as black and white designs are also pretty popular, and just as eye-catching. Here we can see two skulls, so we’re guessing the wearer is honoring a couple. Or, they just liked the design. That’s a possibility too, and nothing to be ashamed of. Not all body art needs to have a deeper meaning.

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A portrait that’s both attention-grabbing and haunting. The artist surely knew what they were doing, as the details are simply mesmerizing. Roses make another special appearance, and we can’t help but approve.

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Shades of blues and reds are commonly used for this type of tattoos. Butterflies are also present here, which usually symbolize rebirth and resurrection. Butterflies lead a short, yet amazing life, since they also undergo a dramatic transformation in a limited time span. A pretty fitting symbol for a Day of the Dead tattoo, don’t you think?

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As we’ve already said, it’s pretty common for the portraits to be half skull and half flesh. In this case, the eyes are very expressive, which we’re guessing is what the wearer was going for.

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Roses are red, death is black, a beautiful skull will always leave a mark. We may not be wonderful poets, but we’re totally digging this ink.

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The autumn leaves are awesome, and they can also be seen as a symbol of death. They can be a great addition to a Día de Muertos tattoo, case and point.

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Purple also symbolizes grief, and it looks great combined with red and black. The yellow eyes are mesmerizing, while the green leaves can be a symbol of rebirth. All in all, an attractive and well-crafted design.

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The Day of the Dead tattoo is great, but can we take a minute to talk about that eye at the bottom? It’s so realistic it almost looks 3D. Not sure why the wearer opted for it, but it sure is a masterpiece.

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Here we have an abundance of bright colors and heavy makeup, but somehow this design doesn’t look heavy at all. The glove earring and the cigarette are a nice addition, while the yin-yang symbol makes you believe there’s a deeper meaning behind this body art.

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While in most Western cultures skulls and crossbones can invoke feelings of discouragement and fear, this isn’t the case for Latino and Chicano cultures. There, the human skeleton is a symbol of what is within everyone. Getting a skull or skeleton tattoo is a way to show the inner you, the soul, either yours of the one of a loved one who passed away. That’s mostly why it shows up in bright colors and a happy mood.

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This tattoo is a bit more goth, so you can always go darker if that’s your personal preferences. We’re not big fans of the bees, but they probably symbolize something special for the wearer.

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An elegant and stunning design that shows just how much a talented artist can accomplish. The sad expression is haunting, while the interesting details give the tattoo a bit of an edge.

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Basic, colorful, awesome. The perfect example of how colors can blend together and elevate a simple design. Jewelry makes another special appearance, in the form of those big diamonds that immediately catch you eye (yes, pun intended).

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This is a bit darker, but just as interesting. The eyelashes are a thing of beauty, while the veil really brings all the elements together.

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Besides the colorful face, there’s an abundance of symbols here – flower, heart, tear, fire… The wearer must have worked hard to incorporate them all without making the design look too crowded. It worked perfectly.

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While getting a basic Day of the Dead design is great, you can also incorporate other elements to go with it. In this case, the clock can symbolize the passage of time, which is fitting in this case.

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Skulls, flowers, birds, leaves, all beautifully incorporated in a unique and eye-grabbing design. We liked that the artist only used red and black, keeping things simple. More, please!

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This one is very complex, but definitely beautiful. We have two skulls, geometric symbols, a bleeding rose, plus the name of the holiday written in a seemingly blurry fashion. Lovely work.

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A tattoo within a tattoo – now that’s what we call creativity at work. Cigarettes we see are pretty popular design elements associated with Day of the Dead tattoos, as are roses and the red/black combo. There’s also some white here, which stands for hope, promise and purity of spirit.

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Amazing work and great use of color! We can’t take out eyes off this one. It’s captivating, well-crafted, and extremely detailed. We’re in awe.

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We applaud the placement and the great use of roses, all in different colors. Butterflies make a special appearance once again.

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Colorful and mesmerizing! The placement is also a great pick. As for the quote, we think it’s the perfect addition to a Day of the Dead tattoo.

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This makes us think of the Little Mermaid, which is a bit disturbing. But it surely looks a lot like Ariel, right?

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A skull made entirely of flowers and leaves? Oh my! We would have never thought about this, but the end result is fantastic. The artist’s attention to detail and talent deserves some serious praise.

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A nude is always risky, but if you’re one to live on the edge, you should definitely go for it. Especially if it looks as classy and elegant as this one.

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Icy – it’s the first word we thought of when stumbling upon this gorgeous design. The blues are very captivating and the butterfly is a great addition in our humble opinion. More red might have worked better, but we’re not ones to complain.

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Here’s a great way to incorporate Day of the Dead design in larger, more complex tattoos. This one is simply stunning.

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She kind of looks like Frida Kahlo, don’t you think? Either way, another simple, yet gorgeous design to show you that Day of the Dead tattoos can be anything but scary.

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Her rose crown is extremely dashing, while her makeup is on point. The colors here are particularly lovely. All in all, very, very nice.

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Dark and twisty, but also very captivating.

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She has a playful expression, which kind of goes with the whole Day of the Dead spirit. The blue hair is particularly stunning, while the lips are sure to grab everyone’s attention.

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The quote translates as ‘the dead know the truth,’ so it goes very well with the design. Just another great example that you don’t necessarily need color to make a lasting impression.

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The quote translates as ‘the dead know the truth,’ so it goes very well with the design. Just another great example that you don’t necessarily need color to make a lasting impression.

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You might have noticed that the spider web is also a common element in Day of the Dead tattoo, as it symbolizes a struggle. It can either refer to the struggle the wearer felt when losing a loved one, or the struggles the loved one faced before passing away.

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We don’t know who Adelita was, but she sure meant a great deal to the wearer. She’s portrayed with a gun, which can symbolize power.

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The red lips stand out, but the black and white work is just as mesmerizing. We love the shadows and incredible details. The eyes are particularly well drawn.

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Another rose, another sad face, another gorgeous design. We can’t get enough of these.

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A powerful and extremely detailed tattoo, which you kind of need to closely observe for a couple of minutes to truly comprehend what it symbolizes. Roses, skulls, a butterfly, a single tear – there’s an abundance of symbols here, and they all fit nicely together.

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Colorful, expressive, celebratory. The three words that best describe this body art, which we think is just phenomenal.

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Another nude, but just as tasteful as the previous one. And the tattoo wearing a tattoo trend makes another special appearance.

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That’s a pretty great hat. Wondering if we could find something similar at a vintage shop.

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Lovely how the girl’s hair is used to incorporate other elements. Seemingly basic, this tattoo turns out rather complex at a closer look. And that’s awesome.

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Remember what we said about the popularity of the half-flesh, half-skull tattoos? Here’s a great example of how good this trend can look when embraced by a talented artist.

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Three gorgeously complex designs. The one in the middle is mesmerizing.

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We love how the birds emerge from the girl’s hair. Awesome work.

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A 3D Day of the Dead tattoo? Perfection. The shades of purple give it even more of an edge.

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A stylized version of a skull, with incredibly expressive eyes. The shadows are extremely well-crafted.

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The headbands are lovely, and the entire concept pretty eye-grabbing. It kind of haunts you, doesn’t it?

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If you’re looking for matching tattoos, Day of Dead designs can be a great fit. Especially minimal ones such as these pictured above. Absolutely lovely.

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We don’t know what the quote represents, but the design is mesmerizing for sure.

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Matching tattoos are all the rage nowadays, so a similar design will surely make you stand out from the crowd.

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Colorful Day of the Dead tattoos go great with heels, and certainly make for great Instagrams.

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If you’re not convinced, a traditional skull might work better for you.

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A dashing couple for sure.

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If you’re thinking about getting a full-sleeve tattoo, incorporating a Day of the Dead design can’t hurt.

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How cute are these?

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Simply mesmerizing.

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A dark and gorgeous design that will definitely turn a few heads and win you some much-deserved compliments.

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So many elements, such gorgeous design!

Day of the Dead tattoos are popular because they promote a healthy way of remembering loved people we’ve lost. They’re usually bright and colorful, so they come off as whimsical and celebratory. They’re a popular choice for both men and women and, as you can see above, there are many options when it comes to placement. If you’re thinking about getting one, find a tattoo artist you trust and come up with a design you’re comfortable with. The more unique it is, the more special your tattoo will be.

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