colorful papel picado banners hanging between buildings

Papel Picado


    Papel Picado, meaning "perforated" or "pecked" tissue paper is widely used throughout Mexico for many celebrations like birthdays, weddings, secular & religious holidays. Papel Picado is strongly associated with Día De Muertos altars, but are also an everyday decorative art form that has come to characterize Mexico's picturesque streets.

    In Mexico, its origins can be traced to the town of San Salvador Huixcolota in the state of Puebla. By the early 20th century, the town's artisans were using it to make paper flags and traveled to nearby villages & Mexico city to sell them.

    Today, brightly colored Papel Picado banners line Mexico's streets and are a key decorative element in celebrations; The paper bears customized designs, symbols, & messages specific to the occasion. Common illustrations include floral designs, animals, & skeletons. It is believed that during Día De Muertos, the perforations act as portals for living souls.