Flowers, traditional clothing, bread of the dead and skulls are beginning to appear in shop windows as Mexico prepares for the Day of the Dead celebrations in San Marcos Island, Aguascalientes.
From Oct. 27 to Nov. 5, the 23rd Festival of Skulls will draw thousands of participants for theatrical performances, live music, art exhibitions and roller coasters, among a host of activities.
In honor of one of Mexico’s oldest traditions, the municipality of Aguascalientes invites its residents and visitors to a free family event which includes over 70 activities, the State Tourism Secretary Irma Eugenia Medrano Parada said.
In a statement from Aguascalientes’ Sports Institute Director General Aceves Rubio, he said that sports promotion would play a fundamental role in the week of activities, mentioning a marathon, medieval fighting, boxing, tennis and golf, to name a few.
The first of two parades enlisting the aid of volunteers 18 years and older will occur Thursday, in an effort to ensure that Day of the Dead traditions continue for generations to come.
The city will dawn its most haunting attire, complete with a flowery sombrero or two, and on the final days of celebration, join in an enormous parade for the Day of the Dead holiday, which falls on the second of November every year.
A woman wearing face paint art participates in Day of the Dead celebrations | Photo: Reuters
According to the Municipal Tourism and Culture Department, six floats will travel down the street before arriving to the Plaza de Armas for photos.
Spokeswoman Patricia Veliz Aleman explained that every float will be themed differently, with the first representing Xantolo, the feast of the dead Huasteca. Another will bear the beloved characters from the Legends of Potosinas, which include memorable personalities such as “Juan del Jarro”and “Catrina," the pet name of a skull painted by artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, before pulling to a stop of Plaza de Armas.
The National Dead Museum will also be open to visitors, welcoming curious passersby to marvel at over two thousand macabre mementos collected by the renowned engraver Octavio Bajonero.
The festival has been a cherished tradition in Aguascalientes since 1994, when residents and visitors dawn traditional mourning attire and paint their faces to resemble the famous Catrina.
Floats travel down streets of Mexico during Day of the Dead celebrations. | Photo: Reuters