In 2015, you can join in to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this annual festival that combines the traditions of the Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) holiday and the Mayan version (Hanal Pixan), when these peoples remember their loved ones who have passed on.
Mexicans celebrate Day of the Dead in their homes by constructing an altar — Photo courtesy of Xcaret
Mexicans celebrate Day of the Dead in their homes by constructing an altar that includes, among many other items, candles, sugar skulls, photos of and personal items that belonged to the deceased and the official Day of the Dead flowers: marigolds.
On Nov. 1, children's items are placed on the altar for children’s souls, whereas adult items are incorporated on Nov. 2 for adult souls. Many families also visit the beautifully decorated cemetery, as well, to wait for a visit from their loved ones.
The Xcaret Festival of Life and Death Traditions celebrates these traditions and the holiday in general through theater, music, dance, tours, exhibitions and one Catholic mass. It's a favorite event of locals and tourists alike.
All festival attendee’s senses are heightened by the smell of copal, or sacred Mayan incense; the bright colors of the performer’s costumes and painted faces; the sounds of the traditional music; and the taste of the customary dishes.
There are stands set up throughout the park, where visitors can join the fun and paint their faces like skulls (calaveras).
There are stands set up throughout the park where visitors can paint their faces — Photo courtesy of Xcaret
This year’s festival brings together 50 Mayan communities that will share their Hanal Pixan traditions. For the first time ever, performers from another country, Colombia, have also been invited to participate. Dueto Nocturnal will perform Andean music each night in two different functions.
This year, the headliner of the festival is Mexican musician, singer and composer Julieta Venegas, who will perform in the Gran Tlachco theater on November 1 and 2 at 10:30 p.m.
The Child and Youth Pavilion is located in Xcaret’s Hacienda Henequenera and provides interactive workshops for children of all ages, including how to construct a Day of the Dead altar, Mexican scissor art and lighting a candle for the offering of your choice.
The Xcaret Festival of Life and Death Traditions takes place in 2015 from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Those who pay full-day admission for Xcaret may stay for the festival.
The vibrant colors, ambrosial aromas, delectable flavors and joyful sounds of the Xcaret Festival of Life and Death Traditions stay with you long after it’s over.
The Xcaret Festival of Life and Death Traditions takes place in late October and early November every year — Photo courtesy of Xcaret