Day of the dead in Mexico

Journeys | 31.10.2018
This is a holiday where you will settle in, and not be frightened. But what does that actually mean? People celebrate the holiday, believing that on 1st and 2nd November, the souls of the dead return home, and the task of their relatives is to meet the souls with beautiful celebrations and fun.

Although it is a Christian holiday, the symbol here is not a cross, as is customary, but a skull. Skulls are everywhere here: on people, stalls, markets, and even in sweet shops.
Mexico City
Mexico City. The capital of Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead in a very loud way, despite the fact that parades began here only in 2016. After the release of the James Bond film, a huge flow of tourists rushed to Mexico City, ended up being bitterly disappointed. There were no parades there, and everything in the film was just one big production for the sake of one scene. But people still continued to go there, and as a result, everything is different now, and parades have become a part of Mexico City.
Cuauhtémoc. The La Cantrina 2018 Festival takes place here. The festival itself is comprised of a lot of different parties, and it lasts more than a week. You can find the event on Facebook or just come and see the festival programme. You'll definitely have fun at this party
Coyoacán. Coyoacán is a famous district of Mexico City, where you should go to see how the locals celebrate the Day of the Dead. The area is closed off so that people can celebrate this day to the maximum extent possible. On 2nd November, a huge market starts off, where people come in beautiful costumes looking for decorations for altars and other things.
Paseo de la Reforma. The main avenue of the capital of Mexico is where the Alebrije parade takes place with toys made from papier-mâché. Alebrije are Mexican toys of unknown strange animals. During the Day of the Dead, the street is filled with huge colourful figures of unrecognisable creatures. It is better to specify the date of the parade of Alebrije in the Museum of Folk Art.
Xochimilco. Xochimilco is a famous tourist destination, and on the Day of the Dead it becomes even more colourful. You've probably seen the beautiful colourful boats, which tourists love to ride. Now imagine them decorated with bright orange flowers, being sailed by people in skeleton costumes.
Zócalo. The main square of the city is the main attraction of the festivities. Mexicans play national music and crowds of people in costumes sing and dance. If you want to see a large-scale celebration and immediately dive into an atmosphere of craziness and fun, then you've definitely come to the right place.
Alameda Park. Everyone knows La Calavera Catrina, many dress up as her for Halloween or for the sake of different photo shoots. Mexicans believe that La Catrina is the embodiment of the goddess of death, Mictlancihuatl, a skeleton girl in a skirt made of snakes. But during the holiday, people sew bright costumes and decorate them with flowers. La Cavalera Catrina is the unofficial symbol of the Day of the Dead.
San Andrés Mixquic. San Andrés Mixquic retains its strong folk traditions, so the area is known for its celebrations. Here you'll find the only preserved cemetery in Mexico City near the church. And as the tradition goes, everything is fantastically decorated with orange flowers, candles, toys, skulls and little coffins made of marzipan. Every year on 2nd November at 8 pm, the alumbrada ceremony is held here when local people light thousands of candles and incense throughout the cemetery, helping dead souls to find their way into the earthly world.
Oaxaca. According to one version, this is the birthplace of Alebrije, the incredible creatures that Mexicans love so much. Oaxaca is famous for its parties, which often fill entire squares. If you do not have time to prepare anything, during the holiday, you can get your makeup done on the street by locals.
Central Market, Oaxaca. Markets are one of the characteristics not only of Oaxaca, but of the whole of Mexico. During the Day of the Dead, the counters are filled with orange paints from daisy flowers and various "scary" sweets: skulls made from marzipan and sugar, sweet coffins and other unusual delicacies.
San Antonio Arrazola. This small town is known as the home of all Alebrije. The entire economy of the city is built on the production of toys of fantasy animals. We advise you to go there if you want to learn more about Mexican culture and the technology of creating toys in the form of unusual creatures.
San Miguel Cemetery. Cemeteries are an integral part of Mexican culture of the Day of the Dead. The celebration there is different from large public events, because many Mexicans spend the day reuniting with their departed relatives. Local altars are organised for relatives, which are more like works of art.
Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán. The small town of Xoxocotlán, which locals pronounce as just Ho-Ho, is just 20 minutes driving from the centre of Oaxaca. Here you'll find two famous cemeteries - New and Old. On the Day of the Dead, this place becomes very crowded due to the decorations th at the locals prepare.
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