DAY OF THE DEAD PARADE, ART & MAKEUP: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS, MEXICAN RITUAL. BREAD OF THE DEAD, CATRINA SKELETON.
They call her La Catrina, or the elegant skull. She’s all bones, usually clad in a long robe and carrying a scythe. And this is her holiday: Day of the Dead.
On November 1st and 2nd, Mexicans honor those who have passed. But it’s not a gloomy holiday – quite the opposite. Day of the Dead is a vibrant celebration that shouts yes — the dead can dance.
I had the pleasure of celebrating Dia de Los Muertos this year… in the historic district of Mazatlan, Mexico!
Horse cigar ring: gifted from Erica Anenberg
Dress: gifted from Sourpuss Clothing
The ritual traces back to the Aztecs, who worshipped a god named ‘The Lady of the Dead’. In modern times, this ghoulish goddess is known as Catrina… And her image haunts every corner of Mazatlan.
Night falls, and the darkest celebrations begin. Family members visit graveyards, sometimes camping out all night. They pray and share their favorite memories of the deceased.
But I’m in the mood to dance. So I’m joining the Day of the Dead parade.
Locals gather in Old Mazatlan for the annual procession. They’re put on elegant costumes and painted their faces like skulls. With folk music and firecrackers, the dead have come back to life.
Lively, and slightly scary. (With my talented filmmaker, Melissa.)
I saw many colorful altars to remember the dead. They’re decorated with real or paper marigolds, photos, favorite meals and objects. And, of course, sugar skulls – which have the name of the dead written on the forehead.
There’s even a special food for the occasion: Bread of the Dead! Sold in Panama Bakery, It’s airy and sweet, and has a cross-bone on top. Don’t worry – it’s safe for the living to eat.
When the party was over, I hopped into one of these pulmonias (open air taxis unique to Mazatlan). Time to crawl into my coffin!
Are you familiar with Day of the Dead? What did you think of the celebrations and visuals in this post? If you have questions, I invite you to leave a comment here or on my Facebook; I’ll be sure to reply.
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