One of the greatest gifts of traveling is that it allows you to experience traditions and holidays with other cultures. As October ends, you should consider spending Día de los Muertos in Mexico.
So, it is quickly approaching the end of October and you are looking for something fun to do. You have been thinking that a quick getaway at the end of the month may get you rejuvenated to head straight into the enjoyable though all-too-hectic fall and winter holiday months.
But, what is going on in the world that is exciting and different? You want a break from the monotonous annual Halloween celebrations, yet you still want something that will offer you a chance to let your hair down. What could fit this role? Where could you go?
You could go to Mexico for Día de los Muertos, of course!
If you have just been halted in your tracks, head tilted the side, and interest piqued, then keep reading to learn all you need to know about spending Día de los Muertos in Mexico this year.
What is Día De Los Muertos All About?
For starters, Día de los Muertos translates in English to Day of the Dead. While you may be quick to assume that this is a celebration similar to that of Halloween, you would be wrong. In fact, Día de los Muertos is a celebration that honors the dead and celebrates their lives.
Deceased relatives and long-lost friends are said to return to Earth for two days – November 1st and 2nd each year. During that time, friends and family put on a glorious celebration and welcome these spirits back to this world.
In fact, Día de los Muertos is a national holiday in Mexico. And, next to Christmas, it is the most important and most highly celebrated time of year.
Where You Need to Celebrate in Mexico
Saying you need to spend Día de los Muertos in Mexico leaves you left wondering just where in Mexico you are supposed to go. After all, it is an entire country. You will, however, discover that there are villages and towns throughout the country that are celebrating.
To break things down a bit more, here is where you need to be if you want to enjoy Día de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico.
1. Oaxaca, Oaxaca.
This area, located in southern Mexico, is very rich in traditions and coming here will result in you receiving the opportunity to celebrate over several days. The main celebrations are found from October 31st through November 2nd. But smaller celebrations will be found during the surrounding days. Throughout the villages, you will find sand tapestries, woven tapestries, altars, and more.
2. Mixquic, Mexico.
Located in the southwest region of Mexico City, you will find this small, quaint village with strong roots. Día de los Muertos in this area means visiting street stalls set up throughout the area leading up to – and during – the celebrations. Most prominent is the procession of a cardboard coffin that makes its way through the village and straight to the cemetery. During Día de los Muertos, you can enjoy a candlelight vigil in this cemetery.
For those seeking a bit more excitement, visiting Aguascalientes may be more your speed. Festival de las Calaveras – translated to Festival of the Skulls – is held at the fairgrounds. It consists of food, theatrical productions, concerts, and parade that is a highlight of the whole celebration. This Day of the Dead celebration takes place from October 28th to November 2nd.
4. Janitzio and Patzcuaro, Michoacan.
Ok, let’s take a moment and think about you traveling to Mexico for a getaway. Why not take it a step further by finding your way to this island. This is where you will find many traditions and extravagant celebrations. Folk dances, chants, and performances take place in the cemetery overnight. Fishermen fill the lake surrounding the island, using torches to light up the lake. It is definitely a magnificent sight to see.
What You Should Know About Día de los Muertos in Mexico
There are a few things that you should know about how Día de los Muertos is celebrated in different locations before you go.
- Remember that this holiday celebration is not like Halloween. So, leave your Spiderman or Nurse Jackie costume at home.
- Day of the Dead is a deeply rooted tradition that has been around for over 2,000 years.
- Prior to the holiday, shrines are built, honoring deceased family members. These shrines are built in homes, schools, offices, and other public areas.
- The colors of the holiday are orange and purple. In fact, the orange marigold flower is commonly displayed throughout the region.
- While it seems like it should be a sad holiday, it is quite the opposite. There are many happy celebrations around the country.
- Loaves of bread, pastries, and sweets are very commonly enjoyed during this time.
- While it all symbolizes the same thing, each area of the country has slightly different ways of celebrating.
- La Catrina is the most commonly known skull image of the Day of the Dead celebrations. You will see these displayed throughout Mexico – and many people with the same face painting.
Choosing the Destination
When it comes to celebrating Día de los Muertos in Mexico, you need to be able to immerse yourself into the culture. Get to know the area you have chosen to visit and how they face the day and days surrounding the holiday.
Then, join right in.
Traveling via a private jet will give you plenty of time to kick back and relax while reading up on the area of Mexico you have chosen. Then, you will know what to expect before, during, and after the celebration. Will there be rituals? Parades? Festivals? Learn about them so you don’t miss anything!
This is a magical time of the year for Mexico. Día de los Muertos is a celebration of those who passed on during a day when their spirits are said to return to our world. This is a great reason to get away before life gets really busy and the U.S. holiday season kicks in.
Treat yourself by chartering a private jet and discover the tradition and beauty of life and death in all areas throughout Mexico.