Celebrating The Day of The Dead in Mexico City on 2024
A celebration of death, a tradition still alive
One of the most unusual traditions in Mexico is undoubtedly the Day of the Dead, the idea of celebrating death for several days with festivities and numerous celebrations is usually seen as a singular experience. However, for Mexicans this time is more than just a celebration, it has a great historical and spiritual charge, and goes beyond the colorful paper.
There is an inexplicable union between Mexicans and the afterlife, each element that makes up the rituals performed on these dates represent a part of the spirit and tradition that to this day is still alive in every home in Mexico. Mexico City has a great variety of experiences that carry with them this beautiful tradition and thanks to this it is possible to create gratifying memories if your plan is to develop a group trip during this time.
Sugar, flowers and lots of colors
The Day of the Dead dates back to the Aztec period, on this day it is believed that the spirits of deceased loved ones return for a visit, for this reason Mexican families build altars or ofrendas, adorned with photographs, candles and items that the deceased enjoyed, such as food and drink, even tequila or mezcal. Each altar that is placed on the Day of the Dead contains distinctive and significant elements, although not all altars are the same, each one is important for each family that celebrates the visit of their loved ones.
They have two levels that represent heaven and earth, sometimes a third level is placed to symbolize purgatory and there are even altars with 7 levels that represent the steps for a soul to rest. It is essential to place the photo of the deceased, since this is the person to whom the altar is dedicated, in addition, the favorite dishes he had in life are usually placed and, just by smelling them, he can taste them as when he was alive.
The sugar skulls are an emblematic element because they represent the death that is always present, it is strange to think that a whole country celebrates something as gloomy as the afterlife, however for the people of Mexico this time of the year is the opportunity to feel again those they loved the most. To help their family and friends to get there, candles are placed, because with their light they will illuminate the way and by placing salt the soul is protected to prevent it from being corrupted along the way.
There is an element that can be enjoyed throughout October and November, the delicious pan de muerto, a piece of bread with a small sphere in the center of the upper part that represents a skull and four canillas that symbolize the bones. Sprinkled with sugar or sesame seeds, there are 27 types of pan de muerto, but in any altar it alludes to the Eucharist.
It is impossible not to notice the orange tones that flood the city thanks to the cempasúchil flower, this beautiful flower was considered by the Mexica as a symbol of life and death, it is placed from the main door to the altar to guide the souls of the deceased.
"The Day of the Dead dates back to the Aztec period, on this day it is believed that the spirits of deceased loved ones return for a visit."
"The most popular attraction of this time is undoubtedly the "Grand Day of the Dead Parade", which originated in 2016 and is inspired by scenes from Spectre, the James Bond movie filmed in Mexico City."
Skulls and candles throughout the city.
Downtown Mexico City hosts an endless number of parades and celebrations, it is the ideal place to experience first hand the Day of the Dead; the most popular attraction of this time is undoubtedly the "Grand Day of the Dead Parade", which originated in 2016 and is inspired by scenes from "Spectre", the James Bond movie filmed in Mexico City. Said show runs 8.7 km through Paseo de la Reforma, one of the most important avenues of the city, this great parade features floats called "Titanes", which are puppets and giant skulls, battalions of catrinas and parcas, as well as groups of dancers and acrobats performing wonderful choreographies accompanied by live music in addition to fantastic alebrijes and mobile ofrendas.
During this time, in the Plaza Santo Domingo in the historic center we can observe the Mega Ofrendas, a tradition initiated in 1997 by the student community that consists of a festival that brings together students and professors of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). During this tradition different faculties present beautiful offerings made with sawdust, seeds and cempasúchil flowers; about 1,500 students and members of the student community choose each year a theme characteristic of Mexico (historical fact, artistic wave, folklore, among others).
Located southeast of Mexico City, the municipality of Tláhuac has one of the most emotional traditions and attached to the roots of this festivity; in the town of Mixquic, which means "where there is mesquite", people honor their dead during "La Alumbrada", an event in which thousands of candles are lit and placed on the graves that are previously decorated with flowers, a beautiful spectacle that unites Mexicans to celebrate this beautiful moment.
Undoubtedly it is a time full of spirituality that provokes nostalgia and emotion, the city is painted with colors and flavors, the smell of flowers and pan de muerto will fill your senses and overflow your emotions. Let yourself be enveloped and connect once again with those you miss the most during this fantastic celebration through Mexico City.
We trully expect that you will come to celebrate with Us this year!
The Dia de Muertos holiday in Mexico is a real tourist sensation so hotel reservations and activities are quickly covered. If you want to plan your group for 2024 we are already working on it!
Published by DMS Mexico All rights rserved 2023