An altar de muertos dedicated to Lola Beltran © Daniel Wheeler, 2009

Mexico conjures spirits with picturesque ofrendas

Unique observances that exemplify the fusion of Mesoamerican and European cultures, particularly regarding religious practices, render Mexico’s celebration of los Dias de los Muertos as the most distinctive holiday on the nation’s calendar. Customs associated with this festive time of remembrance defy any strict formula, for the practices specific to each region vary considerably. Among […]

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Day of the Dead: Pictures of Oaxaca

Day of the Dead or El Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca

Drawn by the intrigue of all-night vigils in cemeteries and life-size skeletons propped jauntily in shop windows, tourists flock to Oaxaca and other points in Mexico for Day of the Dead. During the last week in October, voyeurs come to observe and to photograph the “picturesque” practices of “quaint” indigenous Mexicans. The idea of reunions […]

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Children are also expected to stay at the panteón to spend time with their deceased relatives during the celebrations.

Mexico’s Dia de Muertos celebration: Is it dying?

In Mexico, Day of the Dead – Día de Muertos – is a spiritual, intense vigil connecting the souls of the living and dead. Over the past decade, increasing numbers of tourists have been drawn to Mexico to experience the event for themselves. This has brought the traditional indigenous observance into the international spotlight and has led […]

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Chiapas celebrates the Day of the Dead

Raising The Dead

The attitude towards death evidenced in the quintessentially Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) might be puzzling for some. It isn’t difficult for foreigners to interpret dancing skeletons, candy skulls and general drunken revelry as disrespect for the dead and grief at human loss. Nothing could be further from the truth. […]

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Clay figurines depict the dead carrying out the same tasks they did while still alive.

Aguascalientes’ Museum of Death welcomes you

As October draws to an end, a period of profound mysticism dawns in the heart of Mexico, a time to remember the departed but not without joy. In the hometown of José Guadalupe Posada, the celebrated creator of the hollow-eyed, grinning skull known as Catrina, festivities are already well underway days before the November 2 Day […]

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Parents diligently arranged this group of children for photographers. Increasingly, the customs of Hallowe'en are creeping into Day of the Dead festivities in Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico.

Through the lens: Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead – photo galleries

Day of the Dead, one of the most important celebrations in Mexico, is understandably difficult for foreigners to fully comprehend. Cemeteries full of families, flowers, food, and music seem daunting to the uninitiated. It took me many years to “get” it, to realize that it’s okay to venture into graveyards and join the festive mood. […]

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