The Day of the Dead is a popular ceremony that invokes the ancestors’ spirits to invite them to live in the underworld, Therefore, people try to pamper their ancestors so that their souls can visit their relatives.

Currently, in Oaxaca the Day of the Dead celebration begins with the acquisition of the products that will be placed as an offering on an altar. From dawn, the markets or ‘Plazas de Muertos’ are installed and dressed in the smells and the colors characteristic of the season.There, people can find among other characteristic products: the black mole, the Oaxacan sweets among which the canned pumpkin, the tejocote apples and the nicuatole (a kind of pre hispanic corn jelly), accompanied by milk or water based chocolate, the great diversity of ‘dead breads’ that exist throughout the state, the delicious mezcal and the huge handmade tortillas.

The altar & The tombs

Much of the visual appeal of these festivity is reflected in the construction of the altars, which are installed into the homes of their relatives or in the same pantheons in the tombs.

This altar usually stands on a table lined with a tablecloth or a white sheet or with chopped Chinese paper; on the front legs of the table, sugarcanes or reeds are tied, which are shaped like an arch, where the faithful departed are welcome.

Traditionally on every altar, one never forgets to place the dead flower, the fragrant ‘cempasuchil’ and also flowers like the rooster’s crest. Another of the offerings is the lamp that contains fig oil, white or yellow wax candles and candles.

This confirms that the Day of the Dead represents a complex mixture of tradition, worship, celebration, magic and history in Oaxaca. But that’s not all, it’s a magnificent spectacle that is lived in the pantheons, such as the General Pantheon, adorned with more than 2,400 candles, or the Contest of Altars of the Dead, with magnificent ornaments of the tombs, thanks to the ingenuity and dedication of family members to please the dead in their day.

The Comparsas

In the case of some neighborhoods in the city of Oaxaca, the happy and lavish Comparsas are celebrated, announcing with a little bell the night pilgrimage, composed of the corresponding group that includes the music band, those responsible for burning the rockets, the people who receive the food and drinks that will be given during the long journey, characters like skulls and devils and other like doctor, the nurse, the priest, etc., and that makes up the whole comedy that is represented in the Comparsa, that normally begins the first day of November at 6:00 p.m., dancing and singing all day and all night, ending at 8:00am, on November 2.

It is worth mentioning that in each community and region of Oaxaca these comparsas are celebrated differently, but always with lots of music, drinks, food and great enthusiasm. The state of Oaxaca prepares for this meeting with the deceased, and in each pantheon different activities take place, all of them can be shared, lived and experienced by everyone.

Combining all these traditions together you get the cultural plurality existing in the state, from the Basin to the south, on the Coast. Overflowing with colors and magnificent ornaments, the family members use their ingenuity and dedication to consent their faithful departed.

Do not stay out of this traditional celebration that year after year attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world to Oaxaca, book today at ZOA Hotel and we assure you that you will be part of an incredible experience full of mysticism and joy.

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