For your partner, your parents, your in-laws, your compadre or whoever you choose 

This year, give the gift of calaveritas 

Cause the year hasn’t been too good on our pockets… 

But first… 

What’s a calaverita? 

Calaveritas, literally translated as little skulls, are an essential part of every Día de Muertos. Moreover, they’re an essential part of Mexico as a whole. Since elementary school, we’ve been writing calaveritas when the season approached. 

If you haven’t heard about them yet, let me tell you a bit about calaveritas. These are short poems written in rhyme, with humor, irony or any gesture of Mexican spice. Their topic must be surrounding death. That’s right, we’ve been mocking death since elementary school. 

Calaveritias are usually dedicated to a loving relative, but they can also talk about famous characters, artists, politician (these tend to be less caring), or even of oneself. The main thing is that at a certain point, death must be played with. 

The idea around this tradition, as many others in Día de Muertos, is to remember that death accompanies us every single day. It’s not necessarily bad, instead, just like calaveritas and altars, it can be filled with colorful touches and happy memories.  

The nostalgic feeling is inevitable, of course, but it’s a way of remembering we’re human, and we’re all going to the same final destination. 

How’s that for a philosophical note? Why hide the inevitable. Better look at it as a part of the journey, since this body is pretty much a lent vessel and life passes you by in a second. We’ll have a chance to meet again in the other side.  

Anyways, you came here looking for calaveritas, and since I don’t want you to die waiting, here are seven of them for you… I even added dedication.  

You may also enjou: Pib; A Delicious Feast in the Day of the Dead

Now, the calaveritas 


For your partner, 

I stopped by the flower shop 

To get you some roses 

I bought you three dresses  

In the store that was closest 

For dinner I got us 

Your favorite choices  

But when I was coming  

Not very focused 

A spooky calaca  

Jumped in my noses 

“I am the reaper,  

Don’t run and hide” 

“I won’t I swear,  

But before I die 

Let me to my dearest 

Say my goodbyes”  

“I’ll let you, for sure 

But to ensure your return 

Leave all your presents 

I’ll wait for you soon.” 

And that’s why I’m here 

All empty handed 

I did not forget our anniversary! 

But Death left me stranded 

calaverita-for-your-partner

For your in-laws (not mine, of course) 

I have been worried all week long 

Thinking Death for me might have come 

I feel Her around me, everywhere I go 

Could it be that of this world, I’m being taken from? 

I see Her in the corner, watching me close  

This I told my girlfriend, cold as a rock 

And just in that moment, I saw her again 

“Dinner is ready” she said to us then 

So I won’t be dying today, and that’s a good thought 

But now I know I’m stalked, by my mother-in-law 

calaverita-for-your-in-laws

For your compadre 

My compadre never needed to have fun 

To drink his good liquors 

He needed only his rum 

And find some fight-pickers 

Ay compadre! You’re gone 

And left me so bitter 

Now I sit on your lawn 

And watch some dead critters 

But what is it I see 

So far down the way? 

It’s the reaper that’s coming 

Laughing away 

And next to her, my compadre 

Joking around 

We though he was dead 

But partying he’s found!  

calaverita-for-your-friends

For grandparents 

In that house,  

where all is old 

With lots of food,  

and rules forgot 

Growing up  

I never thought 

That in an altar 

I’d have you sought 

Goodbye to those teachers 

That left their mark 

In this world 

And in my heart 

May Death receive you 

With a beautiful fiesta 

As I wait in the altar 

With your picture puesta 

As in this Día de Muertos 

I will not rest 

Until I see,  

My grandparents again 

calaverita-for-grandparents

For parents 

Dear dad and dear mother 

I am behaving, I swear 

I learned from la chancla 

You guys taught me well 

Even though we’re far now 

I fear no Reaper 

As I talked to her and spoke 

“Of them you’ll take neither” 

calaveritas-for-parents

For siblings  

I was with my siblings 

Doing mischiefs and tricks 

Until unaware 

We got in too deep 

“How do will we go back?” 

My dear sister asked us 

And before we noticed 

The Reaper came past us 

“In order to go back 

You must trade me a soul” 

The Reaper was serious 

As this to us She told 

As fast as a lightning,  

We each touched our nose 

This ritual, the Reaper knew 

Couldn’t be opposed 

“Who came last?” She asked 

But the game was too close 

And after hours of debating 

Her patience was lost 

“Leave now, but please 

Stop with this torture” 

And that’s how we escaped 

From certain death horror 

calaveritas-for-siblings

For your bosses (don’t send it to mine, please) 

A typical Friday 

In the office I’m stuck 

They all left, they left me 

Even that guy, Chuck 

I thought they had finally made it 

Turned me mad with their stuff 

When a dancing calaca 

Appeared right in front 

She seemed quite surprised 

When she saw me chuckle 

“Aren’t you scared?  

Don’t you know I am trouble?” 

Poor little Reaper 

For you I’ve been waiting 

Change my routine 

And far away take me 

calaveritas-for-your-bosses

And that’s how far I’ll go today or I might get into trouble.  

But don’t stop sharing this tradition so it can carry on living within ourselves.  

And if you have written any yourself, I’d love to take a look!! 

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