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How Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico City

Day of the dead, a very lively tradition

Imagen de How Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico City

It is up to the present to maintain the magic of the past. In Mexico City, the Day of the Dead festival does just that, transforming pain and sadness into a celebration of epic proportions. The city puts on a parade where vintage cars, volunteers dressed in traditional catrina costumes, alebrijes and more march down the main Avenue Reforma. The celebration enchants locals and visitors alike. 

Mexico City, the second largest city in the world, has the second most museums on the planet after London. The museums in CDMX, filled with art and culture, assist in keeping the Day of the Dead tradition alive. Many put on special exhibits and displays and encourage visitors to explore the streets and attractions during this holiday season. 

The majority of museums also prepare offerings based on their exhibits and offer cultural and artistic workshops that help get everyone involved in the festivities. Theaters displayed posters alluding to the Day of the Dead and libraries, bookstores and cultural venues offer spaces for traditional storytelling open to the public. As for music, there is no lack of mariachi, jazz, blues and rock concerts. This is a creative holiday, and the city ensures that everyone present lends a hand. 

Throughout the festival, locals cover streets with symbolic cempasúchil flower and fill the stores, plazas and markets with traditional papel picado. Families paint their faces with skeletal makeup and put on traditional catrina costumes.

Recently families have taken to social media to share photos and videos of their own altars and offerings and those they see around the city. This elevates and motivates others to get involved in Day of the Dead events and traditions. 

Gastronomy also plays an important role in the celebration. The pan de muerto, a dome shaped sugar dusted loaf, can be found in every home. The bakeries prepare months in advance to fill orders and even create variations of it filled with traditional, whipped and ice cream. There are even vegan loafs for those with dietary restrictions. The restaurants, shops and squares, ornately decorated with paper flags and traditional sugar skulls, invite all who pass to join in on the party. 

The younger generation get involved as well, they dress up as catrinas, skulls, monsters, ghosts or historic figures from the golden age of Mexican Cinema or Mexico’s long colorful political history. 

With the smashing success of Disney Pixar’s animated film ""Coco"", the rest of the world knows a little bit more about this family tradition. The box office hit will be screened again in movie theaters during the celebrations and the city expects to see a number of children dressed up like the protagonist “Miguel” wandering the streets. 

See the Grand Parade:
Walk down Reforma Avenue from the Angel of Independence to the Zócalo. There you will see the entire square decorated with altars and offerings. 
Explore the celebration in Mixquic in Tláhuac.

The central plaza
The mega offering at the Cuidade Universitaria
Dolores Olmedo Museum
Frida Kahlo Museum
Chapultepec Castle
Casa Azul: house and studio of Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Participate in:
“Noche de Muertos en Bicicleta” or Night of the Dead by bike, a route that runs from the Chapultepec forest to the Revolutionary monument
Day of the Dead costume contest at the Angel of Independence

Hotels along the parade route:
St Regis | Four Seasons | JW Marriot | Presidente Intercontinental | Hyatt Polanco

Did you know?
The Aztecs celebrate their dead two times a year:
Micahuitontli: dedicated to children (July 23 – August 13)
Micahuitl: dedicated to adults (August 14-31)
The Chapultepec Castle is the only real castle in the Americas. It was home to both Spanish viceroys and the emperor of Austria, Maximillian of Habsburg. 

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