Celebrating Day of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta

(Photo by Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board)

Preparations for Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, are underway in Puerto Vallarta.

Celebrations will take place until November 2 and include many activities, such as art exhibitions, folkloric ballet, Mexican nights, mariachis and a catrinas contest, allowing locals and visitors to experience the traditional and modern offerings to the people who left us.

Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon itself becomes an open-air art gallery, with many of the destination’s hotels and restaurants decorating the boardwalks many palm trees in Dia de Muertos characters and building shrines to loved ones.

The popular belief is that the souls of the loved ones who left us return from beyond the grave during the Day of the Dead. For this reason, they are received with an offering where they place their favorite food and drink, fruit, sweet calaveritas and, if necessary, toys for the children.

A very important part of this tradition involves visiting the cemeteries. Either during the day or night, families come and place candles on graves as a way to illuminate the path of souls on their return home.

At each dinner and offering is the pan de muerto (bread of the dead). There are different styles and forms. The most popular is round, covered in white or red sugar, with strips that simulate bones.

In 2008 UNESCO declared Día de Muertos as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Mexico. According to tradition, the deceased children are celebrated on November 1, and adults are celebrated on November 2. However, for the Catholic Church, day two is for everyone, since the first is the Feast of All Saints.

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