Day of the Dead, Oaxaca, Mexico
Day of the Dead. A Mexican cemetery during the Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Photo by ZwieRys.
Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, when and where
Days of the Dead is perhaps Mexico’s most illuminating festival, celebrating death and departed relatives with enormous gusto, colour and fearless respect. It runs from Oct 31 – to Nov 2, unofficially combining Halloween with All Saints Day (Nov 1) and All Souls Day (Nov 2).
In key towns, such as Oaxaca, Mixquic (only just south of Mexico City) and Janitzio island, Lake Pátzcuaro in Michoacán (west of Mexico City), Merida, Yucatan where the celebrations are referred to as Hanal Pixan, which means ‘feast for the souls’ in the Maya language.
Photo by Jordi Arocha.
And yes, you should ask permission before taking photos, and certainly if using a flash!
January, Fiesta de Enero, Chiapa de Corzo (Chiapas). Bizarre dances, costumes, masks, parades, fireworks.
Feb/March Carnaval, date depends on the year, Veracruz, Cozumel, Mazatlan and other cities. A wild party time with dance, music, parades, costumes.
March, Chichen Itza (Yucatan) see the Kukulcan snake god appear, plus varied entertainments. Couple of days before & after too.
Easter Week/Semana Santa, nationwide but especially Chiapas state, processions, costumes, fireworks, music, dance and some weird rituals.
Mid April – early May, Feria de San Marcos, Aguascalientes. A huge and long established celebration of Mexican music and machismo, with rodeos, bull fights, folk dancing, parades, mariachi y mucho mas.
May, Cinco de Mayo, Puebla (just north of Mexico City) is celebrated with the usual music, dance, parades and mock battles in the ‘living museum’ of Puebla.
September, 3rd Saturday, Running of the Bulls, aka Pamplonada or Sanmiguelada. Varied festivities apart from the Pamplona imitation, including dancing and fireworks.
Oct 31- Nov 2, Day of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos). Mainly in the states of Michoacan (especially Lake Patzcuaro) and Oaxaca, a visually and psychologically fascinating festival. e. g. partying with departed relatives in cemeteries at night!
December 12, Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, nationwide but especially in Guadalupe, north of Mexico City, with dancing, processions, costumes, fireworks and so on.