Dia de Los Muertos – Mexico’s don’t miss extravaganza - Awesome Experiences

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Dia de Los Muertos – Mexico’s don’t miss extravaganza

We’re proud to be one of a handful of UK companies running trips to Mexico’s vibrant festival, Day of the Dead. This might run at a similar time to Halloween, but – unlike the gaudy displays and hectic trick or treating you find in the States – this is an ancient celebration devised out of respect for ancestors and recently passed relatives.

I was lucky enough to be travelling through Mexico during October and November and witnessed first hand the incredible celebrations. Declared a public holiday, the world’s oldest festival gives a privileged glimpse into the life and culture of this mesmerising country – while looking so surreally beautiful that every photo becomes frameable.

Our Day of the Dead experience has been devised to give you a taste of both big city and small, authentic celebrations as you tour Mexico City and beyond, seeing vibrant street parades and visiting graveyards as relatives take their places beside flower-packed, candlelit graves.

We’ve got the itinerary covered – but here are some things you might like to do during the celebrations:

 

1. Get your face painted as a Catrina

This female skeleton dressed in a fancy hat has become the best-known symbol of Dia de los Muertos. With origins in the Aztec death goddess Mictecacihuatl, she has morphed over the centuries to resemble a deceased wealthy woman – showing that death doesn’t discriminate between classes! These days, one way to really get involved in the festivities is to get your face painted as the character at one of the street stalls hemming the celebrations.

 

2. Pick up a souvenir… or 300

Unlike the plastic tat associated with many of the world’s celebrations, Day of the Dead comes with traditional paper skeleton dolls, skull candles and paper cut art. Also worth looking out for is the intricate, colourful tin metalwork that hails from the Oaxaca region.

 

3. Eat some tasty street food

During the celebrations, the roads and plazas are packed with stands vending delicious tacos and tamales. A world away from the Tex Mex served up in most restaurants here in the UK, they’re zingy, fresh, filled with unusual flavour combinations – and highly recommended.

 

4. Try and see an ofrenda within a home

You’ll need to be invited into a private house to see an ofrenda (altar) in a home – but, if you do get asked, make sure you take the owner up on it. These private altars give a real glimpse into the spiritual side of the festivities, and being invited to see one is a great honour.

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