Mexico Gets Ready for the Day of the Dead

Las Rosadas Day of the Dead altar

Mexico is inviting visitors from around the world to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

Named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008 by UNESCO, this holiday is an ancestral legacy inherited from different pre-Hispanic cultures combined with the celebration of the Catholic All Saints' Day and is observed from the end of October through the first week of November. Based on popular belief, the deceased return each year to visit their relatives and coexist with the living to enjoy their offerings such as favorite foods and drinks.

The Day of the Dead in Mexico attracts more than 7.5 million international tourists each year who wish to experience its cultural and gastronomic traditions. According to figures from Mexico's Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR), the celebrations of November 1 and 2 will result in a revenue of more than US$208 million for the tourism industry.

The set of practices and traditions that occur in the country for this holiday, both in cities and smaller towns, are mainly located in states such as Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi and Mexico City.

With more than one kilometer (0.6 miles) in length, and with the states of Aguascalientes, Oaxaca, Michoacán and San Luis Potosi as special guests, the traditional Day of the Dead Parade will be held in Mexico City for the third time on Saturday, October 27, 2018.  Skulls, floats and catrinas will flow through the Paseo de la Reforma from the monument of La Estela de Luz to the capital's Zocalo, which will become the scene of mega offerings for the deceased. There will be free concerts of rock, jazz, blues and traditional Mexican music to conclude the day.

Last year, the parade had more than one million attendees and more than 1,500 volunteers. Many volunteers came from different parts of Mexico and beyond. This year, nearly 2,000 organizers and volunteers are expected.

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