The Day of the Dead is celebrated in the Mexican Caribbean

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The Day of the Dead is one of the most important traditional celebrations in Mexico. This celebration, linked to the Catholic holidays of All Souls Day and All Saints Day, takes place on November 1st and 2nd every year, to honor in a very special way the memory of our loved ones who have passed away. Although this holiday is celebrated all over Mexico, you will find distinctive elements from one region to another.

One of the Mexican destinations where you can enjoy this important holiday is the Mexican Caribbean. In this region you will find numerous options to enjoy this incredible celebration, and learn about Mexican traditions. We tell you about some of them.

Mayan tradition of Hanal Pixán

From October 31st to November 2nd, the inhabitants of Cozumel and communities of Maya Ka'an and the Riviera Maya celebrate Hanal Pixán or "food of the souls", the Mayan celebration equivalent to the Day of the Dead.

The main ritual during this festivity is to prepare a table lit with candles, flowers, branches of rue and photographs of the deceased. Typical food of the season such as atole nuevo, jicamas, mandarins, oranges, sweet papaya, coconut and pepita, sweet bread and jícaras of tasty atole made with corn dough, cocoa, pepper and anise, called tan-chucuá is placed on the table.

Also mucbipollo or pib is prepared, a large tamale made of corn flour dough and lard, filled with chicken and pork and seasoned with tomato and chili. It is usually wrapped in banana leaves, and placed in a hole in the ground where wood and stones are placed to cook it buried. This dish is made only during this important date.

The first day is dedicated to the deceased children and it is called Hanal Palal. On this day, the altars are decorated with embroidered tablecloths in cheerful tones and yellow xpujuc flowers, red xtés and virginas, and food, sweets and toys are offered. November 1st, called Hanal Nucuch Uinicoob is dedicated to the adults and on the third day known as Hanal Pixanoob a mass dedicated to the souls is celebrated.

Festival of Life and Death Traditions

Every year, from October 30th to November 2nd, the famous Xcaret Park holds the Festival of Traditions of Life and Death with the purpose of contributing to the preservation of the traditions of the Day of the Dead.

In each edition a Mexican state is selected as guest of honor, highlighting its culture, gastronomy, and its own traditions for the celebration of the Day of the Dead. During the days of the Festival, a varied program of activities for children, youth and adults is presented around this celebration. In this year's edition, which also coincides with the fifteenth anniversary of the Festival, the special guest will be the State of Quintana Roo. Tickets and the program can be consulted here.

Enjoying this ancient pre-Hispanic celebration in Xcaret is a magical experience that will allow you to get closer to the richness of Mexican culture through its traditions, artistic representations and traditional dishes.

An ancestral celebration full of traditions and symbolism.

The origin of the Day of the Dead celebration dates back to pre-Hispanic times. It is believed that during these days the "souls of our loved ones" are allowed to visit us. According to tradition, cempasúchil flower petals should be placed and candles placed, which will indicate to the souls the path they are going to follow so they do not get lost and reach their destination.
During this festivity, altars are decorated with marigold flowers, the photo of the person who died, palm leaves, papel picado, white candles and offerings of sugar or chocolate skulls, pan de muerto, various fruits, or a dish that the person to whom the altar is dedicated will like.
This tradition is part of UNESCO's list of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


 

Tips

In this country, as in others in the Caribbean, cars are driven on the left.