The Day of the Dead tradition and how to celebrate it in CDMX this 2022

The Day of the Dead is probably the most folkloric tradition of Mexican culture and is one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year throughout Mexico.

It is celebrated on November 1 and 2, when we can find different areas of each city and town in the country decorated with flowers, colors and flavors. But where does this celebration come from? The origin of this tradition dates back to a time before the arrival of the Spaniards, as there are records of celebrations in the Aztec, Maya, Purepecha and Totonaca ethnic groups.

It is believed that in its origins, this festival was commemorated on the ninth month of the Aztec solar calendar, and lasted one month. The festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacíhuatl, "The Lady of Death", who paid tribute to deceased relatives.  

The most representative element of the Day of the Dead in Mexico are the altars with their ofrendas, a fantastic representation of our vision of death, full of allegories and meanings.

Likely, you have already seen some of these colorful Day of the Dead altars. But, for you to appreciate them better the next time you see them, we tell you what the essential elements that make them up are: 

Papel picado (colored tissue paper with cut-out shapes): Usually in purple, pink and orange, symbolizing the union of life and death.

Personal objects of the deceased and photographs: As a tribute.

Food and drink: As an offering, the food and drinks that the deceased enjoyed in life are placed for their soul to enjoy when they visit on November 1 and 2.   

Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead sweet bread): It represents the Eucharist and was included in the celebration by the Spanish evangelists.

Water: It has great importance since, among other meanings, it reflects the purity of the soul. It is also placed in the offering to mitigate the souls' thirst after the journey from the world of the dead.   

Candles: Symbol of love that guides the souls to the altar.

Flowers: The cempasúchil flower is used as a symbol of the sun's radiance, which was considered the origin of everything. Its aroma also guides the souls to show them the way to their former home. 

Sugar skull: Commonly with the name of the dead written on the forehead.  

Day of the Dead traditions may vary by region in Mexico, but the altars and visits to cemeteries to decorate the graves of the deceased with flowers and candles are a common principle throughout the country. 

How to celebrate the Day of the Dead in CDMX this 2022?

Mexico City is one of the main entities in the country where the Day of the Dead is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

This year, there are different activities and events that you can join to enjoy this iconic Mexican tradition. 

Great Day of the Dead Ofrenda

Of course, the must-see are the Day of the Dead ofrendas. You can't let this season pass without visiting at least one and what better if it's the Great Day of the Dead Ofrenda that will be placed in the Zócalo.

From October 31 to November 2, you will be able to enjoy this mega ofrenda that will be made up of 27 ofrendas and will have the participation of all the states of the country. 

Day of the Dead Parade

This parade has become a sensation in CDMX, and this year it will take place on Saturday, October 29.

The parade will start at 12 pm at the Zócalo and will run 8.7 km (5.4 mi) through Paseo de la Reforma to conclude at Campo Marte. 

Mega Catrina Procession

The iconic character of Day of the Dead is the elegant catrina, so everywhere you go, you will see people dressed up and made up like her. 

On October 31 at 12 pm this procession will begin, and people of all ages can join. The route will start at the Angel of Independence and will end at the Zócalo. 

In addition to hundreds of catrinas, there will also be floats and musicians that will liven up this colorful procession.

Night Tour "House of the Altars" of Teopankali

Chapultepec Forest also joins the Day of the Dead festivities with a night tour through the Mictlán (the underworld of the Aztecs) to visit different altars installed in the first section of the forest. 

The tour is a little more than 1 km (0.6 mi) long, and you can bring photos of your loved ones who are no longer here, to place on the altars. 

This event will take place on October 31 from 7 pm to 10 pm. 

Monumental Alebrijes Parade

The Popular Art Museum has created one of the most amusing and eye-catching activities of the Day of the Dead season: the parade of monumental alebrijes.

Get ready to see huge alebrijes created by artisans and plastic artists pass by. This year the parade will take place on Saturday, October 22 at 12 pm, starting at the Zócalo and ending at the Angel of Independence. 

At the end of the parade, these incredible characters will remain installed on Paseo de la Reforma until November 6 so that everyone can go and see them. 

Pan de Muerto delicious than eating panand Chocolate Festival 2022

Is there anything more d de muerto accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate?

Treat yourself to these unmissable delicacies of the season of the dead at the Pan de Muerto and Chocolate Festival.

This year the festival will be held at the Churubusco Convention Center, on October 29 and 30, from 11 am to 7 pm. Admission is free, you only have to pay for what you consume. 

Day of the Dead Night Bike Ride

The night bike rides in CDMX are already a well-known activity, but this year the Day of the Dead night bike ride is back!

This fun activity will take place on Saturday, October 29 at 7 pm and will end around 11 pm. The final route is not yet ready, but we know it will be approximately 20 km (12.4 mi) long through Chapultepec Forest, Paseo de la Reforma and the Historic Center. You can join by bike, rollerblades, skateboard or walking. 

The event is free, and remember that at Central Hoteles, we have bicycles on loan for our guests, so reserve yours and get ready to roll for the Day of the Dead. We recommend you go dressed up as a catrina or catrin!

Ofrendas throughout the Historic Center

Finally, the Historic Center is the city's main area where you can experience the traditions of the Day of the Dead. 

Simply walking through the streets and admiring the decorations alluding to the date and all the ofrendas that museums, restaurants, shops and hotels set up is a charming way to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Some venues set up their altars since the beginning of October, but between October 28 and November 2, you will surely find ofrendas everywhere.

We look forward to receiving you at Central Hoteles to enjoy the season of the dead from the heart of Mexico City. Our privileged locations in the Historic Center, steps away from the city's main historical and cultural sites, make us a great starting point to experience firsthand the events and activities that take place around the Day of the Dead.  


Be part of our fascinating Mexican culture! See you soon. 



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