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02 de November, 2022

In Mexico, the Day of the Dead or “Día de Muertos” is a cause for celebration; food, flowers, colors and smells adorn the streets and houses of Mexicans on November 1st and 2nd to celebrate those who have passed before us.

The Día de Muertos festivity is an emblematic Mexican tradition that in 2003 was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This celebration has become internationally known in recent years, since we have been able to observe it in some series, movies and events. Colorful altars, illuminated pantheons, streets covered in orange with cempasúchil flowers, food, drinks, music, skulls and catrinas, make this celebration one of the most beautiful Mexican traditions and personally, my favorite, since it is the day in which we honor and remember our loved ones who are no longer with us.

In pre-Hispanic times, the cult of death was an important part of the culture of Mexican indigenous communities. When people died, they were wrapped in a petate rug along with all their personal belongings, symbolically fed with delicacies and their favorite foods and later buried or cremated, so that their soul would embark on its way to Mictlán, the "place of the dead”. Afterwards, every year for four years, ceremonies were held at the resting place of the
deceased, to help rest their souls and help transition them to the Mictlán.

With the arrival of the European conquest, this indigenous tradition was mixed with some religious Catholic rituals brought by the Spanish until it evolved into the tradition that we know today. The Día de Muertos celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd. According to the Catholic calendar, the 1st is dedicated to deceased children and 2nd to


On these days, it is believed that our loved ones travel from the Mictlán to this earthly plane to visit their loved ones for one night, drink and eat their favorite delicacies. We Mexicans prepare an offering in our homes with different elements, which help our loved ones to visit us, as follows:

  • Photos: with which we remember and honor our loved ones who are no longer with us
  • Water: for souls to quench their thirst after their long journey from Mictlán.
  • Levels: if the altar has three levels, these symbolize heaven, earth and purgatory.
  • Food: we usually put the favorite food and drink of our loved ones so that they can enjoy it on their arrival. Good food is intended to delight the soul that visits us.
  • Candles: so that the light serves as a guide to our homes.
  • Salt: as a purification element, it assures that the body does not become corrupted on its
    return trip in the following years
  • Copal and incense: copal was offered by the indigenous people to their gods and in the altar it is used to cleanse the place of evil spirits, so the soul can enter in our houses without any danger.
  • Cempasúchil flower: in addition to adorning and flavoring the offering, the petals of the flower help mark the path that souls will follow from Mictlán to our homes.
  • Bread: a tradition that was adopted due to Catholicism, represents the "body of Christ".
  • Papel Picado: represents the joy of the holiday by giving us a meeting with our loved ones.
  • Objects: some of the favorite objects of the deceased are usually placed


Depending on the region and the state, there are some variations in the celebration of the Day of the Dead and the offerings, since each state adapts to the specific customs and traditions inherited from the pre-Hispanic cultures of the region.

In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a tribute to all those loved ones who have left us and that once a year, we honor them by remembering them and preparing with love an offering to receive them in our homes for one night, knowing that death is only the end of a story, but not of life.

If you are curious to experience this celebration and want to visit some of the most emblematic cities in México, make sure to check out our amazing and unique affiliated boutique hotels and destinations and start planning your next Mexican experience!



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