Published On: Fri, Oct 30th, 2015

Top 6 destinations to celebrate “Day of the Dead” in Mexico

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Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions. This holiday coincides with the Catholic “All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day”, and the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.

Day of the Dead is in fact a very expensive holiday for these self-sufficient, rural based, indigenous families. Many spend over two month’s income to honor their dead relatives. They believe that happy spirits will provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their families. Besides, Ofrenda and Altar building keeps the family close.

Here is a list of the Top 6 places to celebrate “Day of the Dead” in Mexico:

Mixquic is best known for its Day of the Dead commemorations, which consist of both ritual and cultural events lasting from 31 October to 2 November.

Mixquic girl (Photo: Jordi Cueto Felgueroso Arocha)

Mixquic girl (Photo: Jordi Cueto Felgueroso Arocha)

These events draw thousands of Mexican and international visitors, and culminate in the “Alumbrada”, when the cemetery that surrounds the community’s main church glows with thousands of candles and smoke from incense the evening of 2 November.

Janitzio is a small island in Patzcuaro Lake in the southern state of Michoacan. The small town is world famous for its traditional Day of the Dead celebration.

Janitzio, Michoacán (Google)

Janitzio, Michoacán (Google)

In Xochimilco, Mexico City, the Day of the Dead is celebrated with enthusiasm and respect. Offerings to the dead entail elaborate preparation.
A month before the festivities of All Saints’ Day, the most traditionalist families prepare to pay homage to their ancestors.

Day of the Dead in Xochimilco (Google)

Day of the Dead in Xochimilco (Google)

Jose Guadalupe Posada, famous Mexican cartoonist and caricaturist was the author of the first “Catrinas” drawings during the early XX Century. And today, in his hometown of Aguascalientes, people celebrate the “Festival de las Calaveras” as a homage to the man who made this character immortal.

Festival de las Calaveras in Aguascalientes (Google)

Festival de las Calaveras in Aguascalientes (Google)

In San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, dozens of different artistic “Altars to the Dead” will be on exhibit in different locations during the weekend.

The top and most advertised versions of these veritable works of artistic craftsmanship will be the display at “El Nigromante” Fine Arts building, which opened Thursday for an event called “The Installation of the Day of the Dead” with live music — songs related to death performed by the “Voices of Guanajuato” with titles such as “Death, the Daily Companion.”

Day of the Dead in downtown San Miguel de Allende (Google)

Day of the Dead in downtown San Miguel de Allende (Google)


In Merida, Yucatán, the Day of the Dead, is a cross-cultural festival of the senses during which Yucatecans truly believe that their loved ones come back from the dead for three days every year to spend the day with them.

Hanal Pixán is the name given to the Day of the Dead celebrations of the Maya people, in the Mayan language means “food of souls” or “Meal with the dead”.

It is a two day long celebration, recognized in the Peninsula de Yucatan on October 31st, when the souls of deceased children are remembered and prayed for, and November 1st, when the souls of deceased adults are prayed for and remembered.

paseo de las animas

Paseo de las animas in Merida, Yuc. (Google)

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