The experiences that you can live in the Mexican Caribbean are endless and very special. One of them is the celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) This Mexican holiday has a lot of history and tradition, and it is celebrated all over Mexico on November 1st and November 2nd.
This holiday came up from ancient traditions among Mexican pre-Columbian cultures that used to honor life and death.
“El Día de Muertos” honors the memory of relatives or friends who have passed away, and it is a way to help them to support their spiritual journey.
It is believed that during this time of the year, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, party, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones.
This Mexican holiday is celebrated every year on November 1 and November 2. November 1 is “All Saints” festivity, the day to remember those children who passed away and November 2 is the “All Souls Day” to remember the adult ones.
According to tradition, the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of children can gather with their families for 24 hours. The spirits of adults can do the same on November 2.
This tradition includes setting altars with photographs of the person who passed away, marigold flowers called "cempasúchil", decorated paper, white candles, candy skulls made of sugar, chocolate or amaranth, dead bread called "pan de muerto", fruits, a cross, the favorite dish of the person who died and incense or copal incense to aromatize.
Some graves are also decorated with these elements.
If you are planning to visit the Mexican Caribbean during this holiday, from October 30 to November 2, you can enjoy The Festival of Life and Death that takes place at Xcaret, where there are shows, exhibitions, interactive workshops, a folkloric ballet, arts & crafts, altars, and of course, a lot of food! Such as tamales, churros, Mexican candy, pan de muerto, sweet corn, hot chocolate, atole and some local dishes such as pib and cochinita pibil.
If you want to experience this celebration as the ancient Mayas did, then head to Pueblo del Maíz, an interactive park located in Cozumel; or join the communities of Maya Ka´an or book a tour to the Tres Reyes community with Alltournative, as they celebrate the Hanal Pixán, the Mayan celebration equivalent to Día de Muertos, that takes place for October 31 to Nomber 2.
This tradition includes the traditional dish mucbipollo, also known as pib, which is only cooked during this holiday. Pib is a special dish similar to the tamal made out of corn dough, tomato, lard, red pepper, onion, epazote and beans seeds known in the region as Xpelón; pork or chicken. Its name comes from the Maya and refers to a traditional cooking method of a hand-dug pit in the ground lined with stones at the bottom. This way of preparing is still used in all Mayan communities, and the taste of the buried “pib” is completely unique!
Come to the Mexican Caribbean. Let yourself be surrounded in mysticism and celebrate one of the most extraordinary Mexican traditions.