Cancun, Mexico – The jewel of the Mexican Caribbean, Cancun, invites visitors from all over the world to come and enjoy one of Mexico’s most special holidays: The Day of the Dead also known as “El Dia de los Muertos”. Over a backdrop of turquoise waters and white-sand beaches, the destination will be celebrating with the traditional vibrant colors, music and mysticism that come with this elaborate and festive holiday.
Known within the Mayan tradition as “Hanal Pixán,” this pre-Hispanic holiday, that later came to combine Christian rites, brings family and friends together to celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed away. According to the tradition, the holiday is celebrated on November 1-2nd, in honoring the souls of the dearly departed who roam the earth to enjoy the pleasures they had during their lives.
Throughout Mexico, El Día de los Muertos is one of the most important celebrations, due to all the preparations involved, such as the building of altars that are adorned with palm crosses, candles, drinks, and pictures. Part of the traditions of the Day of the Dead also include praying and singing, along with sweeping the yard and painting the homes to receive the dead with the honor they deserve.
Large portions of the “dead’s” favorite foods are made as a tribute to them; along with local dishes that are famous during the holiday, such as Mucbipollo, from the Mayan “Pib” meaning “buried,” is a tamale or corn cake stuffed with chicken, sauce, broth and spices, cooked in a hole in the ground and covered with banana leaves.
In its 6th year, Xcaret, the area’s top eco-archaeological park – both of which are popular family attractions – will be hosting events that honor the dead and celebrate this vibrant holiday. Xcaret will feature presentations of traditional “Life and Death celebrations,” where the state of Tabasco will be the guest of honor. The display will feature traditional altars, theater, music, dance, folk art and gastronomy.
The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau invites visitors and locals alike to take part in this mystical and fantastical holiday celebration at the number one destination in Mexico.
* All photos courtesy of Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau.