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Frosted Flakes: Day of the Dead

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A closer look at one of Mexico’s famous holiday celebrations.

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Everyone should travel to Mexico at least once for their Day of the Dead celebrations. It takes place every year on November 1st and November 2nd. On these days, it is believed that the line opens up between the real world and spirit world. The first night honors the children who have passed on and the second night honors the adults.

Here is a great explanation of this holiday courtesy of the History Channel.

“During this brief period, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones. In turn, the living family members treat the deceased as honored guests in their celebrations, and leave deceased’s favorite foods and other offering at grave sites or on the ofrendas built in their homes.”

This takes place in cemeteries and grave sites throughout the whole of Mexico however the most popular spots to visit are Oaxaca and Patzcuaro (with the latter is especially popular among Mexicans).

Being there is something you probably won’t experience anywhere else in the world. The atmosphere is so incredible that it almost feels like a party atmosphere where you can listen and dance the music playing. Every tombstone is lit up with candles which makes for such a beautiful setting.

During the festivities you get the chance to get your face painted to look like a skull, taste a variety of sweet candies, eat a piece of ‘Pan de Muertos’ and observe a variety of beautiful floral patterns displayed throughout the city. You will typically see truckloads of marigold flowers (cempasúchil) everywhere which are used to decorate each tombstone during Day of the Dead.

Below are some pictures I took during last year’s festivities. Feel free to share your experiences on the most interesting festival or celebration you have attended.

Pan de Muertos is a popular sweet bread eaten during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
Beautiful marigold decorations at the entrance into one of the pueblos.
Tombstones decorated by candles and flowers.
This cemetery is located on an island. You had to take a ferry from Patzcuaro.
This event takes place all night. Due to the traffic, our group didn’t get back to our accommodation until 5:00 a.m.

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