Very much like the fun-filled traditions associated with Halloween in the United States, Mexico embraces the somber autumn vacation with a selection of celebrations and actions. This is a celebration very close to the main event, known in the Latin States as El Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Cancun offers visitors a truly unique version of this well-liked holiday with numerous occasions incorporating each Mayan customs and modern Mexican traditions. Beginning on October 31 with celebrations for the returned souls of the departed, the party continues every year till November 2.
As Cancun is in the center of the historic region known as the Riviera Maya, many of the city’s occasions incorporate Hanal Pixan – the Mayan ritual of the dead. In Cancun and at most of the other Mayan sites outside the city, candlelight prayer services are held on October 31 to remember the deceased. After this period of reflection, Hanal Pixan rapidly transforms into a friendly meal shared by hundreds. Tamales are frequently baked in an underground pit and help the living and the dead, as it is considered that the deceased absorb the essence of the food placed at their graves. Handmade candies are likewise passed around for all to enjoy, Hanal Pixan marks only the beginning of this incredible vacation.
Halloween in Cancun
October 31 also marks the beginning of a three-day culinary feast in Cancun, taking place both within the streets and in all of the best restaurants. At the city’s gastronomy festival, visitors can sample local delicacies and gourmet international cuisine ready by Mexico’s best chefs. Held outdoors along the Caribbean waterfront, this festival is anything but a sober Day of the Dead ritual, as guests are invited to eat and drink as much as they like. In the event you dine in any of Cancun’s restaurants throughout the three-day vacation, you will be treated to special local recipes reserved for the Day of the Dead. At night, many visitors move from the restaurants towards the bars and dance clubs where special occasions such as costume parties have become the norm.
Day of the Death traditions
One of the most interesting traditions associated with utilizing the Day of the Dead is the creation of colorful altars – recognized in Mexico as ofrendas – to honor deceased loved ones. Anywhere you travel within the city, you’ll pass numerous altars containing all kinds of offerings. Set on tables with white cloth, the altars of Cancun display everything from fresh flowers and chocolate skulls to wooden crosses, private mementos, and photographs. Though the tradition of honoring the deceased might seem solemn, the positive atmosphere of the vacation continues with these personalized displays, as awards are passed on for the most elaborate and beautifully decorated altars.
Best Places to go in Dia de Muertos
The newest Day of the Dead activity for Cancun’s visitors takes place south of the city in the Xcaret Nature and Cultural Park. Last year, the park unveiled The Bridge to Paradise – one of the world’s most unique cemeteries. Composed of 365 lavish gravesites created by nearby artists, The Bridge to Paradise serves as a creative representation of Mexican history and culture. For instance, a colorful sculpture of a bed total with linens references the country’s dreamlike mythology, although a miniature replica of a cathedral reminds visitors of Mexico’s religious culture. Throughout the celebrations surrounding the Day of the Dead, visitors are served candies and different refreshments from altars set up for the duration of the cemetery. A lot like the celebrations in Cancun, the occasions at Xcaret and its cemetery rejoice in life and the cultural traditions of Mexico on this seemingly dark day.
Much like the American tradition of Halloween, children are asked to do costumes and trick-or-treat throughout the celebrations of the Day of the Dead. Nonetheless, Mexican myths and customs contribute some fascinating items to the children’s expertise. As most trick-or-treating takes place on November 2 – the day when, as myth has it, spirits must leave the houses of their family and return to the other side – all children put on bracelets of red string to prevent the more nefarious spirits traveling towards the underworld. As with all of the other occasions surrounding the Day of the Dead, visitors are asked to participate in the nearby traditions.
Moreover, as the holiday takes place just weeks prior to the start of the peak travel season, the Day of the Dead might be one of the best times to go to Cancun. Many airlines and resorts will function at special rates throughout this week, making travel to this luxurious destination inexpensive for any family.
Though the Day of the Dead is celebrated all through Latin America, a couple of destinations observe the vacation as colorful as Cancun. On the occasion you wish to experience one of the region’s most treasured holidays, visit the city exactly where modern luxury and Mayan tradition meet to produce an unforgettable vacation. Cities like Valladolid and Merida are also known for holding the best decoration and festive atmosphere.