Day of the Dead and its Celebration in Puerto Vallarta

27 October, 2021
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There is no more Mexican holiday in Mexico than the Day of the Dead.

For most Mexicans, this day is more than a celebration that is crossed off the calendar, or one of many periodic occasions for rejoicing and jamming: September 15, the Guadalupe-Reyes marathon, Holy Week, San Valentin, the quinceañeras, the fairs, the festivities. Day of the Dead is unique and has a deep meaning.


What does Day of the Dead mean?

In Mexico, it is believed that the souls return to the world of the living and enjoy the offerings that are placed at home. It is a Mexican tradition that, although it has its origin in pre-Hispanic times, the mixture with the colony was very important with the arrival of the Spanish.

How is it celebrated?

The custom is to place the offering from the night of October 31 and it is removed until November 3, but this may vary, depending on who are the visits you receive and if the offerings  are for the souls of children, pets or adults.

Tradition establishes the following dates for the arrival of souls at noon:

October 27: It is known that on this day our pets return from beyond. They come to visit the house where it was their home in life, therefore, in one of the corners of the house they usually place water and some type of food.
October 28: People who died in an accident or suddenly or violently are received, as well as souls alone. A candle and a white flower are placed on them.
October 29: It is the day dedicated to the drowned.
October 30: A candle is left and a glass of water is placed for those souls who are forgotten or who have no family to remember them.
October 31: Children are reminded that they are in limbo (not baptized) or never born.
November 1: It is dedicated to remembering children who passed away during their childhood.
November 2: We remember all the deceased who left the world when they were adults and remember our ancestors as grandparents or great-grandparents.


The celebration of the Day of the Dead was declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).



Day of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta

In Bahía de Banderas, as in all of Mexico, people celebrate this occasion with family and friends, creating their offerings at home and at the cemetary. Every year, Puerto Vallarta celebrates this special holiday with the Day of the Dead Festival, which is a public event to keep alive the tradition among locals and tourists, and where schools, businesses, and locals participate creating colorful offerings, big and creative Catrinas along the Malecón and events such as Kermeses, with delicious and traditional food and music.

Many families take their children to the Malecón to ask for sweets, the famous “calaverita”.

This year however, as the pandemic continues, the activities will be kept simple but no less significant.

The Day of the Dead Festival will take place from October 30 to November 7.

In compliance with the guidelines ordered by the Jalisco State Board of Health, in Puerto Vallarta some activities will be carried out, among which are the installation of altars in the municipal palace and of catrinas on the Malecón, as well as a small parade.

This was reported by the manager of the municipal tourism department, Ludwig Estrada Virgen, who explained that the personnel under his command are working in preparation of the Day of the Dead program.

“We cannot have kermes, however, we are going to have the display of catrinas on the boardwalk and altars in the presidency because the passage of people does not harm anyone.”

He added that another important part of the program would be the realization of a parade, which is a request from the charro groups of the municipality. For health security reasons, the parade “will not be very large and health guidelines will be respected at all times,” Estrada Virgen said.

He stressed that the celebration of the Day of the Dead is a celebration of many years that has recently gained more interest in our country in general and in Puerto Vallarta in particular.

Keep up with the news about the festival on the local news!



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