Dead Set Fun in Mexico

Hola!! When Mexicans mourn their dead they do it with style and panache, as exhibited during the annual Mexico City celebration the “Day of the Dead” or Dia de los Muertos as they say in Mexico.

This festival is held each year over two days on November 1, which is All Saints Day and on November 2 which is All Souls Day. Of course, these day Mexico is a very Catholic country, and during these two days family and friends gather to remember departed loved ones. This vibrant celebration blends cultural, artistic, epicurean and historical characteristics of Mexico City to create an unrivalled experience.

During the ceremonies candles are lit lit at night to bring to life a peaceful cemetery. Mouth watering Mexican sweets please the taste buds and music fills the streets as locals take part in sombre dances while dressed in traditional costumes.

The religious aspects of the festival are reflected by the family altars upon which are displayed pictures of the deceased pictures, together with their favourite Earthly possessions, which is often comprised of flowers, sugar cane, tequila and mezcal.

During the “Day of the Dead” celebrations both Catholic and ancient Aztec cultures are fused together in a colourful spectacle. At night, visitors attend street festivals where popular pre-Hispanic dances are vigorously re-enacted, and which symbolise a visit to earth of the lord and lady of the underworld.

Families then fondly decorate their family burial plots, and observe overnight candlelight rituals.

In the lead up to the “Day of the Dead,” a number of festivities, whose origins hark back centuries to pre-historic and colonial traditions are infused with contemporary culture, and seemingly dominate what is now the world’s third largest city.

As you would expect in Mexico, the streets come alive with the sound of mariachi musicians wending their way through the streets of Mexico City. The festivities continue with a large “Day of the Dead” market which consists of dancing, flower stalls and local handmade items, and can be found in the district of Xochimilco, an area known as the “Venice of Mexico City.”

Whilst many in the west treat death with fear and trepidation, the Mexicans celebrate their passing into the next world whilst honouring the memory of their forebears in ways that are both colourful and entertaining, as a reminder that death is never far so life should be enjoyed to the fullest.

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