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El Día de los Muertos

Blogs and social events

This year’s collection of scary Halloween costumes may well include some Mexican paintings of skulls, colourful flowers and flags, all of which go to recreate el Día de los Muertos – a happy festival celebrated in Mexico on 1st and 2nd November where children receive toys and sweets in the form of chocolate skulls and sugar skeletons.

The origin of the festival is pre-Hispanic when natives offered flowers to show their respect to the dead, but always with music and lots of colours. In Mexico the dead are not regarded with sadness, but happiness.

Families put altars in their homes to remember their loved ones. Others go to cemeteries and create altars in graves and during the night tell stories about their loved ones with music and candles.

On 2nd November town bells start to ring in villages to welcome the dead back to their homes to enjoy the day with relatives and friends. Families prepare tables with lots of food and drink and leave an empty chair with a picture of the dead relative for whom they offer their favourite food and drink. The altars are decorated with flowers, candles and lots of “papel picado”, a decorative craft made out of paper cut into beautiful and elaborate designs.

In Spain we have a different celebration, “Todos los Santos” which by contrast is very sad. People go in silence to cemeteries to bring flowers to relatives and they go to mass.

Click here to see Elena Castillo’s blog Spain’s Halloween Day.

If you would like to enjoy this celebration, Wahaca restaurants are preparing an event with lots of Mexican food,music, art and culture over three days at The Vaults, Waterloo.  Open from 7pm-2am each night on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th November and all money collected will go to Mexican earthquake victims. Please see more details on below link:

And to see the video:


And finally, did you know the opening scene in the James Bond movie “Spectre” featured a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City. At the time no such parade took place in Mexico City, but one year later due to the interest in the film and the government desire to promote the pre-Hispanic Mexican culture, the federal and local authorities decided to organise an actual “Día de Muertos” parade.

In 2003 the festivity was included on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UN.

¡Feliz día de muertos!


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