Day Of The Dead 01 Header

Día de los Muertos

A celebration for the dead: every year, Día de los Muertos connects families with their deceased loved ones. A huge feast in Mexico, this event is celebrated all across South America.

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Day Of The Dead 02 Intro
Jan Sochor

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a more than 2,000 year old tradition dating back to the Mayan and Aztec period. According to popular belief, on Día de los Muertos the spirits of loved ones return to earth to spend one day with their family. But if you think this would mark a sad occasion to mourn the dead, think again! The event is a colourful celebration that commemorates the lives of those who are no longer among us. The festivities begin on the evening of October 31st, but the official holiday is on November 2.

Day Of The Dead 03 Parade
Vincent Isore/IP3

Parade through the city

In Mexcio City the Catrinas Parade is the highlight of the festivities on Día de los Muertos. This ten kilometre long parade draws crowds of spectators in costume who gather to watch this colourful event.

Day Of The Dead 04 Skelet
Vincent Isore/IP3

Skeleton for a day

La Calavera Catrina, or the Brave Skeleton, is the most famous symbol of the Day of the Dead and Mexico’s cultural icon representing death. Revellers dress up as skeletons and paint their face to resemble Catrina.

Day Of The Dead 05 Flowers
Miguel Tovar

Flowers at the cemetery

Another site of celebration is the cemetery. Mexicans flock to the graves of their loved ones. In some villages it is tradition to spend the entire night at the cemetery with lavish picnics, drinks and music.

Day Of The Dead 06 Piramides
Vincent Isore/IP3

Pyramids of life

During Día de los Muertos you will find many colourful altars shaped as pyramids all across Mexico. The Mexicans call these Pirámide de la Vida, the Pyramid of Life. Each colour represents a stage of life. The base of the pyramid is always yellow, the colour that represents the beginning of life.

Day Of The Dead 07 Kites Guatamala
Byron Ortiz / 500px

Kites in Guatemala

Guatemala also celebrates Día de los Muertos. Here the festivities include life-size kites made of bamboo, fabric and string. Families head en mass to the cemetery to launch these kites. Some can measure up to 12 metres in diameter and it takes several people to fly these massive kites.


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