El Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead as it is known in English is celebrated across Latin America each year at the beginning of November. The most noteworthy celebrations take place in Mexico putting this country at the top of our hotlist of destinations to visit during the winter months. While it is easy to imagine ‘how do people celebrate day of the dead in Mexico’, there is nothing quite like experiencing the magic of the festivities first hand.
How do people celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico?
Dating back generations, the Day of the Dead celebrations have become a staple holiday in the Mexican calendar. While outsiders may view it as the Mexican Halloween, it is a time of the year when families gather together, dress in elaborate costumes, share home cooked food and commemorate their deceased loved ones. Faces are painted in bright colors to represent ‘Una Calavera’ – the Mexican skull woman and traditional music can be heard on every street corner. Each family will have their own version of this special day, complete with family traditions, alter displays and recipes. However, each family ends their celebrations in the local cemetery where they leave offerings to commemorate their ancestors.
Where to celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico?
This year the Day of the Dead Mexico date falls on the 2nd November but the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico can actually last for days. Across the whole entire country people gather together in towns and cities enjoying various styles of festivals. The traditional hallmarks of this festival are the Mexican orange flowers Day of the Dead emblem that can be seen adorning anything from buildings to graves. Another staple of this day is the Mexican skull art inspired by the Lady Catrina Mexico icon, made famous by muralist Diego Rivera.
Sayulita Day of the Dead
This laid back sleepy coastal town becomes an explosion of color and old school Mexican charm during the Day of the Dead celebrations. Flowers perfume the air and the sound of Mariachi music travels on the sea breeze throughout the colorful streets. If you are looking for a true family friendly Day of the Dead experience then Sayulita is definitely a place to add to your list. All festivities are centered around the main square where kids can get their faces painted to be a Halloween Mexican Skull and local street food vendors tempt hungry revelers with their tasty seasonal snacks. It is the perfect way to see how do people celebrate day of the dead in Mexico. A trip to Los Muertos beach is also a must.
Day of the Dead – Festival for the Dead Mexico City
For those looking for a real party, you cannot beat the electric energy emanating from the capital during the Mexican Día de Muertos celebrations. Hoards of people flock to the city to experience the worshiping of the dead in Mexico and the Mexican Día de los Muertos costumes worn by party goers are more works of art than items of clothing. This festival is so important that it has even been recognized by UNESCO as offering Intangible Cultural Heritage for Mexico. Be sure to pass by the Zocalo, main square, to soak up the playful atmosphere and don’t miss out on trying the typical bread, Pan de Muertos which is popular during this time of the year.
Day of the Dead in Cozumel
If you dream of textbook perfect beaches, delicious seafood and warm winter weather then look no further than the Riviera Maya. This coastal area of Mexico is rich in natural beauty and is a far cry away from the craziness of city life. The Day of the Dead celebrations here are more relaxed, offering a family friendly environment in which to savor the colors, smells and tastes of this wonderful feast day. If you are visiting Cozumel, the locals here take the celebrations one step further by celebrating the typical Mayan festival of Hanal Pixán ‘food for the souls’ which of course is celebrated with a healthy supply of chicken tamales, pan de muertos and sugar skulls.
Playa del Carmen – A Day of the Dead Parade
Also in the Riviera Maya, the welcoming beach town of Playa del Carmen lights up the coastline with their Day of the Dead festivities. Not as built up as neighboring Cancun, nor as rural as Tulum, Playa del Carmen is a hotspot for travelers looking for authenticity and comfort. If you are wondering ‘How do people celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico?’ then don’t miss out on the go big or go home style Day of the Dead celebrations held in Playa del Carmen. Each year, a giant parade travels down ‘La Quinta Avenida’ or Fifth Avenue creating an exciting spectacle of lights and color as intricately decorated floats and people in fancy dress turn the streets into a scene from the Pixar movie ‘Coco’. It is the most authentic way to see how do people celebrate day of the dead in Mexico.
Enjoy Mexico Day of the Dead This Winter
There are endless ways in which to celebrate this important Mexican holiday, from beach side gatherings to dizzying city centre parties. However, with so many options to choose from you will be sure to enjoy a mix of true, authentic Mexican culture wherever you decide to spend the holidays. It is a fantastic time of the year to visit Mexico and see the country come to life. Start planning your winter escape now!
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