7 Ways to Celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico City

What does the Day of the Dead actually celebrate?

Mexico's Day of the Dead, known as "Día de los Muertos" in Spanish, is a unique and vibrant celebration that has captivated people around the world. This annual event, observed on the 2nd of November, is a beautiful way to commemorate and honor the lives of loved ones who have passed away.

Initially rooted in Mexico, this colorful and meaningful tradition has now spread across the globe, attracting travelers and culture enthusiasts alike. If you ever find yourself in Mexico City during this enchanting celebration, here are seven remarkable things to do to immerse yourself in the spirit of the Day of the Dead.

How is Day of the Dead celebrated and why?

1. Pay Your Respects at the Grave of a Loved One

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One of the most touching traditions during the Day of the Dead is visiting the graves of deceased family members and friends. Families travel to cemeteries to tend to the graves of their loved ones. This act of remembrance involves not only cleaning the burial monument but also a profound spiritual cleansing, known as "aligerar el espíritu," which includes clearing the area of weeds and debris.

The cemeteries come alive with vibrant colors as families decorate the graves with sugar skulls, candles, and flowers. Marigolds, with their fragrant scent believed to attract the spirits, are a common choice. Additionally, the departed's favorite foods and beverages are placed at the gravesite, creating a beautiful and emotional altar.

If you're looking to purchase items to decorate your own altar, check out our store to discover an extensive selection of Mexican Décor and Calavera Skulls, ensuring you find the perfect items for your commemoration.

2. Creation or Purchase of Sugar Skulls

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The Day of the Dead is renowned for its iconic sugar skulls, a symbol closely associated with Mexico and its celebration of the deceased. Families often adorn their altars with these sugar skulls, either purchased or handcrafted. A touching detail is the name of the departed loved one, lovingly inscribed in icing on the skull's forehead. While traditional sugar skulls are widely available, you can also find variations made of chocolate or cookies.

3. Cleansing and Decoration of Grave Sites

While not every family may hold formal memorial services at the cemetery, it is a common practice to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones. This ritual involves tidying up the area around the gravestone while being careful not to disturb the vibrant cempasuchil flowers that adorn the graves. In many cases, a fully functional altar is constructed at the gravesite, transforming the cemetery into a place of joyous gathering, contrary to what one might expect.

If you're seeking exceptional grave decorations, our store offers a wide range of beautiful items for sale. Explore the decorations category to discover everything you need to create a stunning final resting place for a loved one, including solar lights, flags, vases, monuments, and statuettes.

4. Holding Graveside Vigils

While many prefer to spend the night of November 1st and the early hours of November 2nd at home, in some Mexican towns, the tradition of organizing graveyard vigils endures. One of the most notable examples can be found in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. Here, on November 2nd, locals and curious visitors alike embark on boats, locally known as "mariposas" (butterflies), to Isla de Janitzio. This island visit includes a journey to the island's cemetery to pay their respects to their ancestors.

5. Displays of Calacas

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Calacas, intricately dressed and painted skeleton figurines, are another distinctive feature of the Day of the Dead celebrations. These figures, which you've likely seen before without knowing their name, play a significant role in the festivities. Given their close association with Mexico, calacas take center stage during this holiday.

Check out some of our original handmade designs in our store.

6. Participate in a Procession Celebrating the Day of the Dead

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While the Day of the Dead is celebrated worldwide, the grandest festivities take place in Mexico City. However, significant Day of the Dead parades are also held in various cities across the United States, including San Francisco, San Antonio, California, Texas, New Mexico, Albuquerque, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These parades are characterized by lively music, dancing, and elaborate skull-themed costumes. Yet, the most spectacular Day of the Dead celebrations are found in Mexico.

7. Do Some Shopping

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As you immerse yourself in the Day of the Dead celebrations, you might find yourself drawn to the idea of bringing home a piece of Mexican culture. The streets and markets are filled with unique items that make for excellent souvenirs or gifts.

On this special day, shopping becomes a cherished part of the experience. You can explore Mexican-themed accessories, clothing, and other memorabilia that are both beautiful and symbolic. Whether you're looking for vibrant jewelry, traditional sugar skull masks, or even a reusable Mexican bag for your memories, the options are vast and delightful. 

Not ready to make a decision? Don’t worry! Check out our online store – we ship worldwide!

Why Travel to Mexico City for the Day of the Dead?

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  1. Unbeatable Atmosphere: Mexico City during the Day of the Dead is a place like no other. The streets come alive with vibrant decorations, lively music, and people dressed in colorful costumes. The electric atmosphere of this celebration is a unique and unforgettable experience.
  1. Fantastic Food: If you're a fan of Mexican cuisine, you're in for a treat during the Day of the Dead. Food stalls line the streets, offering a wide variety of traditional dishes, from tamales to tacos. And don't forget to indulge in sugar skull candy, a delightful and symbolic treat.
  1. Festivities All Night: The celebration doesn't stop when the sun sets in Mexico City. In fact, the nighttime festivities are some of the most memorable. The streets are filled with people dancing and celebrating well into the early hours of the morning. 
  1. Learn About Mexican Culture: Celebrating the Day of the Dead provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and traditions. You can witness the depth of the country's customs and engage with locals to gain a deeper understanding of their way of life.
  1. Make Lasting Memories: Whether you're traveling alone or with friends, the Day of the Dead in Mexico City is a celebration that promises to create lasting memories. The infectious atmosphere, rich traditions, and heartfelt commemorations ensure an unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, the Day of the Dead is a remarkable celebration that offers a window into the beauty and depth of Mexican culture. If you ever find yourself in Mexico City during this unique event, you'll have the chance to immerse yourself in the rich traditions and vibrant atmosphere that make this holiday so special. From honoring loved ones at their graves to exploring the colorful displays and partaking in lively parades, the Day of the Dead is an unforgettable experience that allows you to celebrate life, love, and remembrance.

If you don’t get a chance to travel to Mexico, feel free to browse our store for items to create your own altar in your hometown. 

Pura Vida Swim: Where Our Collective Passion for Sustainable Fashion Thrives

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At Pura Vida Swim, we've embarked on a collective journey united by our shared passion for sustainable fashion and our deep reverence for the environment. The heart of our brand beats with a powerful commitment to merging fashion and environmental responsibility, showing that they can coexist harmoniously.

Our name, "Pura Vida," which translates to "Pure Life" in Spanish, embodies not just a brand but a way of living. It signifies a lifestyle that cherishes purity, sustainability, and ethical practices. We firmly believe that fashion should be a force for good, not at the expense of the planet.

What sets Pura Vida Swim apart is our dedication to using sustainable materials. It's a source of immense pride to us that we create our swimsuits using recycled fabrics made from discarded plastics. This is more than just a design choice; it's a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Our commitment to eco-friendliness permeates every facet of our production process. We hold ourselves to the highest standards, from sourcing materials responsibly to ensuring ethical manufacturing. Every step we take is guided by our profound respect for the environment.

As we explored our collections, we were thrilled to find that our designs seamlessly blend style, comfort, and environmental consciousness. We created a range that caters to diverse tastes, allowing each of us to express our personal style while making responsible fashion choices.

In a world where fast fashion often prevails, we stand as a testament to the idea that sustainability is not just a buzzword but a way of life. We are more than a brand; we are a collective of individuals who believe in embracing the beauty of sustainable fashion. Our journey is about living a pure life while safeguarding the purity of our planet. It's a journey that has become a part of each of us, as we continue to explore, create, and celebrate this harmonious blend of fashion and environmental responsibility together.

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