El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) dates from pre-Columbian times; it is believed by many that this is the time when those who have passed away are allowed to return to earth to visit with their families and friends; two important days are recognized. November 1, All Saints’ Day, is devoted to los angelitos (little children), and November 2, All Souls’ Day, to adults.
El Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico and varies from region to region, town to town, but all of them have the same common pourpose: the Family get together and this custom goes hand-in-hand with the construction of the emblematic altars with Zenpasuchitl (a type of marigold; is the traditional flower of the occasion and altars are often covered with the bright orange petals), as families select a variety of ofrendas (offerings) which supposedly encourage the deceased to return home and hear the prayers of their loved ones.
Although many opt to stay at home on the night of November 1 and the early hours of November 2, holding graveside vigils is still common in many Mexican communities and is most definitely one of this celebration’s most iconic rituals. One particular area in which this trend still thrives is Pátzcuaro, Michoacán; on November 2, residents (along with throngs of curious tourists) take boats colloquially known as mariposas (butterflies) to Isla Janitzio, where they honor their dead in the island’s cemeteries.
During the Day of the Dead period is the consumption of the so-called pan de muerto. Thankfully, this is not bread made of dead people, no matter what the name might lead you to think. It’s actually lightly orange-flavored sweet bread, which has ‘bone like’ decorations atop it and a coating of sugar. Typically served with hot chocolate or atole (a creamy corn based drink).
With MEXITOURS you have the chance to enjoy el Dia de los Muertos since we have available special tours and programs that will take you to the right places to experience these Mexican Traditions.