What is the strangest tradition in Mexico

10 things to know about the Día de Muertos


Thanks to the information age and recognition by UNESCO, the Día de Muertos is more popular today than ever - both in Mexico and abroad. For more than twelve years, for example, the non-profit cultural organization "Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders", based in New York, has held the city's largest celebration of the Day of the Dead. But the most authentic celebrations take place in Mexico itself.


In Mexico, numerous communities celebrate the Día de Muertos, but styles and customs vary from region to region depending on which of the pre-Hispanic cultures prevail there.


One of the most moving celebrations for the Día de Muertos takes place every year in Pátzcuaro, a small community about 360 kilometers west of Mexico City in the state of Michoacán. Locals from the surrounding country gather there on the shores of Lake Pátzcuaro. They get into canoes, each with a single candle burning at the bow, and paddle to a small island called Janitzio to keep a vigil in a native cemetery.


In this suburb of Mexico City, the bells of an Augustinian monastery ring in a procession of parishioners. They move to the cemetery with candles and flowers, where they clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones.


The small town in the northeastern part of Oaxaca is mainly for theirs Alfombras Well known: The locals spend days on the arduous work of arranging colored sawdust, flower petals, rice, pine needles and other organic materials into ornate patterns on the streets of the city. Traditionally, such sawdust carpets are made for important processions, but the Alfombras from Tuxtepec are judged in a competition for the Día de Muertos.


Aguascalientes, which is about 225 kilometers north of Guadalajara, is the birthplace of the engraver José Guadalupe Posada. Here the Día de los Muertos extends for almost a week during the Festival de Calaveras. The celebrations culminate in a large parade of skulls on Avenida Madero.