Día de Muertos in Oaxaca, Mexico

The atmosphere of Día de Muertos in Oaxaca, Mexico cannot be more enigmatic. The smell of incense is mixed with the aroma of cempasúchil flowers and chocolate; the whistle of the cold travels the narrow streets of the historic center in unison with the notes of the bands that accompany the traditional comparsas.

Celebrating Día de Muertos, or in English, Day of the Dead, in the Oaxacan capital is an experience that few places offer and that, by far, is an international reference of the millenary culture. If you are one of those who have not ventured into this experience, we share the best-kept secrets that you can enjoy and taste during these holidays.

The pantheons are the best starting point. Easy to find, head to the centrally located General Pantheon of the capital. There, you can enjoy the colorful flowers of cempasúchil, the Mexican Marigold, which color the sober gray of the crypts and tombs.

Delve into the corridors of the tombs and discover the family meals that are held there, same accompanied by band music and mariachis. At night, the spectacle that the candles propitiate is an unforgettable scene.

At half an hour from the center, there is the Xoxocotlán Pantheon, another of the key points of this celebration. Here people enjoy one of the most popular traditional evenings, summoning own and foreigners who marvel at the pantheon mysticism that seems to have been suspended in time and that is covered in yellow creating a magical night.

Dancing to the rhythm of the comparsas is one of the experiences that is popular in Oaxaca tradition. To the beat of verses, chirimías, trombones and drums, and characters from beyond the grave, this traditional parade of characters goes through the neighborhoods and main streets of the capital.

One of the most famous is the district of Jalatlaco, neighboring area of the historic center, which calls the first of November to children and the second day to adults, making an impressive costume contest.

If you want to get away from the historic center, in the town of San Agustín Etla- 20 minutes north of the city – takes place one of the largest groups of the region, and the party lasts all night.

After spending energy and calories in these walks, one of the best options is to enjoy the typical cuisine of Día de Muertos. Start with the tamales de mole negro, which you will almost find at any place and time since it is the favorite dish to honor all the deceased saints.

The traditional black mole is presented par excellence in the Oaxacan tables accompanied by white rice, I advise you to opt for the black mole prepared with turkey meat, there is no equal experience.

When the temperature drops, there is nothing better than a hot chocolate made with water or milk accompanied by Oaxacan bread of the dead, which differs from that of other regions.

Finally, get lost -literal- enter the streets of the historic center, which are illuminated by the dim light of the candles. On each sidewalk you will find an artistic creation linked to this festivity; from plays to paintings, the options do not end.

One of the favorites is to paint your face like the traditional catrinas and catrines, and participate in bicycle rides or, simply, walk and lose yourself among the other living souls that you enjoy in this land of happy deaths.

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Hoy es un día muy especial en Oaxaca, es Día de Muertos, la celebración más esperada, este día es una fiesta que nos permite reencontrarnos, aunque sea por un instante, con nuestros seres queridos que ya no están con nosotros, un día en el que nos reunimos para recordarlos y platicar con ellos, ofrecerles algo de comer y beber, así sucede este día, un día que transcurre muy rápido y se espera durante el resto del año para repetir dicho encuentro. Estos días recuerdo mucho a mis abuelos y a dos amigos que murieron muy jóvenes, íbamos en la preparatoria. 😞 ¿Tú a quien recuerdas hoy?. 🌼🕯🌼🕯🌼🕯🌼🕯. 🔅Detrás de cámara: El panteón de Atzompa es de mis favoritos para atestiguar esta bella tradición, lo ideal es visitarlo en la madrugada para evitar aglomeraciones y es que además este cementerio es muy estrecho. . 🇬🇧 Today is a special day in Oaxaca, we celebrate the Day of the day, an opportunity to reunite with our beloved people that already passed away, today their souls comes back so we can have the chance to remember them, talk to them and offers them a meal and something to drink, something they used to love while they lived among us. This celebration is perhaps one of the main ones in Oaxaca, a day that everyone awaits with love and feith. On this day I think a lot about my grandparents, I miss them. Is there any relative that you recall specially during this specific day?. 🔅BTS: I think the best cemetery to experience this is the one in Atzompa, my advise is to visit it late because it gets really crowded, so don’t worry about missing anything, people spends there the whole night.

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This article was written by Ian Hayden Parker, Oaxaca Life staff writer, the leading source for English news in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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