Travel

4 Day of the Dead festivals you have to visit

One of the Mexican traditions that represents the history, beliefs and identity of the country, can’t go unnoticed; specially a custom that has been part of the mexican culture for hundreds of years (since before the Spanish conquest), and which also constitutes a cultural, gastronomic and festive experience.

If you want to learn more about this traditions and travel around Mexico, these are the festivals you should visit!

1. skulls Festival

Aguascalientes

If you want to see Folklore and the artistic side of the day of the dead, at this festival you can enjoy plays, literary reads, dances and musical events. In addition, as in other States, they organize tours through the historical centre and some representative districts of the city.

I leave you their website  so you can read more information about it.

2. Festival of life and death at Xcaret
Quintana Roo

According to the indigenous legends about the day of the dead, the souls of the dead return to Earth to visit their loved ones, during November the 1st and 2nd.

In  Xcaret Park you can enjoy a representation of the time passed from life to death, accompanied with offerings, dance, music and all the indigenous elements that make this day special.

Photo by: neomexicanismos

Although this is the only festival that has a cost, it’s definitely worth it, the effort put in Xcaret to choose the costumes, music and scenography, based on historical information concerning the day of the dead, makes this festival unique.

Here is their official site to read more about the festival.

3. Dead Parade
Oaxaca

People from other countries see the Day of the Dead as something spooky and strange, but we don’t celebrate death, we celebrate the life of those who are no longer with us; not celebrating they are no longer alive, but the joy of having known them. This festival in Oaxaca is the most advisable to experience this part of joy and celebration.

This parade takes place in the city of Oaxaca, beginning the night of November 1st and ending on the morning of the following day; people walk through the main avenues accompanied by music, disguised people, and of course, great food and drinks that people give for free throughout the night.

Photo by: Marysol

Oaxaca’s state official page where you can read more.

4. Day of the dead Festival
Mexico City

Nothing better than the capital to see a collection of everything that makes unique the day of the dead; from October 28 to November 4th, you can find alebrijes, offering altars, dance and musical representations, and all the elements that are part of the Day of the Dead around the country.

So, if you want to experience this festival to the fullest, I recommend you attending the parade on Saturday (October 28) touring the main streets of the city; I leave the link of the official site to find our more.

Photo: Ana Fishkin

And although it is not a festival:

Lake Janitzio
Michoacán

Janitzio is a small island in the centre of Lake Patzcuaro in Michoacán, probably the best state in Mexico to spend the Day of the Dead.

According to the indigenous legends of this place, during the Day of the Dead, a pair of lovers return from the death to visit the Lake and go to the island to pick up their offerings. There are tours throughout the day, to visit the island which is illuminated with candles and dead altars.

You can enjoy the ride to Janitzio in small boats lit with candles, the cemetery and the City centre with their offerings and decorations.

Photo by: neomexicanismo

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