Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebrates the union of the deceased relatives, who are gone to come back and enjoy the festivities with their loved ones. Mexico’s Day of the Dead festivities take place at the end of October and goes on till November each year. This phase also marks the close of the yearly cycle of cultivation. Puerto Vallarta promised magnificent festivities this year.
Day of the Dead celebration is a symbol of pre-Hispanic beliefs and customs. According to ancient values as and pattern of thinking, the spirit of a dead person
lives on in Mictlan (Aztec underworld ) and return to their former homes to visit their relatives. UNESCO has already declared the Indian festival that is dedicated to the Dead as
Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. According to the ritual calendar, there are two arrivals of the dead. The first one is on November 1st which is known as All Saints Day and Holy Innocents’ Day, when the dead children are baptized and the next is on November 2 when all of the dead are honored.
People lay flowers, light candles and place other offerings to facilitate and honor the return of the souls to Earth. People make the favorite dishes of the dead and
place these around the place of worship at home and the tomb. Different handicrafts such as paper cut-outs and flowers are seen lining the pathways. Traditional altars are created for the celebrations. Dead Catrina Contest and many other activities are held that promote Mexican traditions. Catrinas as tall as 2 meters are made with traditional materials such as Mexican fabrics, shells, reeds and different types of paper products, to decorate the Agustin Rodriguez Street. The winner gets five thousand dollars. There will be Mariachi music, charro, folkloric ballet, crafts, riding, charro, fireworks and regional cuisine. Children will paint plaster skulls the winner will get a swim with dolphins. Hotel Rosita will host the Caravan of Joy which is actually a cultural walk. Candles are lit
The people of Mexico still views death as a changeover of life and view it as a normal phase in life and on earth. According to the Mexicans, it is a natural progression and not an ending. Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations force us to think and muse over the people we’ve lost and think about our own lives. It is time to remember the forgotten and departed souls.