Dia de Muertos
28 October 2017
For quite some time I wanted to visit Mexico during the famous Day of the Dead.
Although it is a very old tradition, comprising ubiquitous altars and grave decorations, James Bond Spectre movie inspired CDMX (Mexico City) government to also organize an annual parade (Desfile de Muertos). It was held for the first time in 2016 and proved very popular.
Before the trip in 2017 it was really to hard to find any information on the exact date of the parade. Only while already being in the country I finally was able to find a Facebook event about the parade with a confirmed date of 28th of October. The general pattern seems to be that it is going to be held on the last Saturday before the actual celebrations (31th October - 2nd November). Many other events are generally also held this weekend all around the country.
The route of most events in the city seems to be the same - starting at Estela de Luz next to Chapultepec park, following along the Paseo de la Reforma, then turning right to Avenida Juarez, passing by Bellas Artes and finishing at Zocalo square. It took 2-3 hours for the procession to reach the destination.
The parade itself was visited by a few million of people, making it quite difficult to move around. I recommend reserving a good spot along the Reforma avenue a couple of hours before the official start.
Beware of pickpocketing. I was really careful with protecting my camera, but in the end I was missing my wallet and phone. This made the rest of the trip quite difficult, because I also forgot about the basic precaution of splitting bank cards into several places. They took all of them at once. Anyway, the parade was great, as also the other days of visiting the altars all around the city, especially in San Angel and Coyoacan.
During the whole time you can easily find make-up tents (e.g. next to Bellas Artes), where your face will become a skull if you are a male or a beatifully decorated Catrina if you are a female.