Who uses it: Celebrants of the Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican day of the dead
What it means: An ornamental skeleton, often just the skull (an example of synecdoche)
How you can use it: To impress friends with your cultural diversity, especially in Maine.
I didn't see any notices in the paper about Dia de los Muertos celebrations up here... if I wanted a sugar skull, I'd have to order it online.
My distant ancestors celebrated the new year on or about November 1 (they didn't use the Roman calendar, so dates of pagan festivals are always pretty arbitrary). It makes sense to me. I've said before that the fall always feels like the beginning of the year; whether that's because of the school year or because my birthday comes in late fall, I don't know, and it doesn't matter.
I need to get a couple of things out the door today, so I'm a little distracted -- I'm sure I'll be more interesting tomorrow. In the meantime, if you haven't read it, go order a copy of Kent Harrington's Dia de los Muertos, a very dark, wildly romantic crime novel that meets all the standards of classic noir.