I was really excited to be in Mexico for the Day of the Dead, and Oaxaca has some of the best celebrations. The day after our arrival (Halloween!), we painted our faces and headed out to a giant cemetery across the city. It was overflowing with people celebrating the lives of their dead, everyone was drinking and playing loud music and socializing. Not the kind of behavior I’m used to seeing in graveyards!
Since it was late at night, these pictures turned out really dark, but it was amazing to see the different styled of beautiful alters. Those that built them and decorated the graves were proud of their work and it showed.
It was quite a fun cultural experience. I have loved cemeteries since I was little kid, and being in one at night is creepy and exciting. The music, the flickering candles, the cold night air, the massive amount of people…it was quite surreal and Halloween-y. We eventually left to get some late-night tacos (the best drunk food EVER) and went to a different, smaller graveyard. This one was much spookier; there weren’t as many people there so it was mostly candles, flowers and the heavy scent of incense, and there was a burned, decrepit cathedral in the center.
On Saturday night, we met up with some of our friends’ friends, with whom we took shuttles up to a neighboring village for another part of the Day of the Dead festivities. The whole town was in the street, walking together in a giant parade. There was a band and many people were dressed up. The procession stopped at different houses along the way to dance (like in the video below…after recording it, we jumped in there too hehe) before finishing in a huge courtyard in front of a church. There was so many people dancing in the center you felt swallowed up!
Needless to say, we were exhausted by the time Sunday rolled around lol.
Have you ever participated in Day of the Dead celebrations?