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Day of the Dead | Día de los Muertos

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Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico and elsewhere associated with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, and is held on November 1 and 2.

The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died. It is commonly portrayed as a day of celebration rather than mourning. In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Traditions connected with the holiday include building home altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

+ More information > WikipediaWikivoyageUNESCO
Official website
+ TOURIST INFORMATION > MEXICO > *Oaxaca city

A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (in Spanish calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (colloquial term for skeleton), and foods such as chocolate or sugar skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead. Sugar skulls can be given as gifts to both the living and the dead.

Top 10 things to know about the Day of the Dead (nationalgeographic.com)

Calacas are clothed, decorated and colorful skeleton figurines that you’ve undoubtedly seen but never known the name for.

*La Calavera Catrina. Even though this custom more or less only applies to Mexico City — although other locations will probably hold their own, albeit less grand, version—it is worth a mention. Each year, hundreds of people dress up as Catrinas and descend on the zócalo to take part in the Catrina parade. Attendees paint their faces in the typical style of the Catrina skull, complete with colorful accents around the eyes and cheeks, and dress in outfits appropriate for the occasion.

The traditions and activities that take place in celebration of the Day of the Dead are not universal, often varying from town to town.

Day of the Dead is not the “Mexican Halloween” like it is sometimes mistaken to be because of the timing of the year. The two holidays originated with similar afterlife beliefs but are very different in modern day. Halloween began as a Celtic Festival where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts but has recently turned into a tradition of costume wearing and trick-or-treating. Decorating your house with spiders and bats and wearing scary costumes is not done in most parts of Mexico.

Public transport

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 BUS >   mexicoautobuses.comClickBus. If traveling by bus, be sure to take the express (first class) buses (directo, sin escalas, primera clase), if available. First class buses travel over longer distances between cities use toll freeways where available. Other buses such as the second class (economico, ordinario, local) buses may be very similar to first class only they travel along secondary highways through cities, towns and villages and stop anywhere along the road on request.

 RAIL >   Amtrak (San Diego, Yuma, Del Rio и El Paso). The only available passenger train is the Chihuahua al Pacific Railway (CHEPE) operated by Ferromex between Los Mochis and the city of Chihuahua, through the Copper Canyon. (*Rail transport in Mexico)

 AIRPORTS >   aeropuertosgap.com.mx

 WATERWAYS >   –

::: Source: National Geographic

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