The Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos in Spanish, is a widely celebrated holiday in Mexico and the United States. The holiday actually spans several days when family and friends gather to remember and pray for their deceased loved ones. Most people also visit the graves of their loved ones, and light candles and place flowers on them, as well as enjoy a picnic with their family.
In modern times, it’s celebrated from October 31 to November 2.
The Day of the Dead is the inspiration behind the Muertos Playing Cards. Steve Minty designed the deck of cards while the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) manufactured them.
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Every card is designed with the theme of celebrating life and death in the tradition of Dia de Muertos. The history of the Day of the Dead tradition in particular and Mexican culture, in general, is reflected in the design, while the social classes present in the past are also depicted. The deck has a contemporary feel complemented by an elegant look with its gold-on-black design.
Each deck comes with 54 custom playing cards and two gaff cards. The characters and numbers are printed with gold ink on a black background, a combination that makes them pop out. The deck is packaged in a gold foil and embossed tuck box, too, for added luxury.
Steve Minty drew inspiration for his designs from the message of the Day of the Dead. He was also influenced by Aztec art, the Mexico-American Wars, and the works of Jose Posada.
The cards are then creatively named to reflect characters although the usual card characters – spade, hearts, clubs, and diamonds – are still used. The card characters include El Padre, La Hermana, El Soldado, El Catrin, La Viuda, El Bandito, El Caudillo, La Bailarina, El Campesino, El Azteca, La Catrina, and El Caballero. The Joker cards have the Muertos insignia and the sugar skull (i.e., Calaveras).