The Day of the Skull in Bolivia is creepier than Halloween

The Day of the Skull takes place every year in Bolivia on November 8.

Skulls are decorated and taken to a cemetery in La Paz a week after All Saints Day.

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The skulls are cared for by the faithful who believe they give them protection.

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

Some  skulls are handed down through generations but many are taken from abandoned graves.

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The human skulls or ‘natitas’ are displayed outside the Cementario General chapel in La Paz, Bolivia.

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

They are surrounded by offerings of coca leaves, flower petals and cigarettes.

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

Many of the human skulls on show are kept in people’s houses during the year, and dusted off for the big day.

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

They receive blessings and are decorated with offerings.

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

The Day of the Skull, The Day of the Skull la paz, The Day of the Skull bolivia, The Day of the Skull november 8, The Day of the Skull november 8 bolivia, The Day of the Skull pictures

When not written on the pictures, images of skulls by Paul Koudounaris.

Showing these skulls is such a cool ritual… But still a bit creepy, isn’t it?

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