When we arrived in Mexico at the beginning of November 2017, artefacts of the former Day of the Dead were literally to be found everywhere. The bookshops had tiny skulls hidden behind books, the showrooms for designer clothing had their trendy dresses on skeleton-like mannequins. The museum exhibitions were devoted to the Day of the Dead – one of the most important holidays in Central and Southern Mexico.
It is believed, that on the Day of the Dead, the gate between the real world and the world of the dead opens, and the spirits are allowed to visit their family member and friends. The reunification is the reason for a big celebration, so it is nothing strange when a two-month income is spent on festival decorations or for the food on this day.
Altars for the dead souls are erected, huge amounts of food are cooked and, the most famous of all the houses and even the bodies are decorated with the symbols of the other world: skulls and bones. A distinction between the dead and the living ones should be hard to make!
Here are some of the peculiar decorations that we encountered on our way from Mexico City to the Yucatán peninsular:
- A temporary exposition in the Museum of Dolores Olmedo famous for its collection of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is dedicated to the Day of the Dead. The skeletons stage scenes from popular Mexican Movies and its sets.
- Somebody was very creative decorating their house
- Skeletons enhanced the Oaxaca Library – I would have enjoyed writing my papers surrounded by such cool decoration.
- A skeleton graffiti at the market of a village near Oaxaca
- Day of the Dead decorations of a restaurant
- Day of the Dead face paint
- And some beer dedicated to the Day of the Dead