Published on November 1st, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
PHOTOS: Day of the Dead is a Colorful Mexican Fiesta at Xcaret
No nation in the Americas is more famous for celebrating Día de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — than Mexico. And while this tradition of honoring deceased friends and family members takes place around the nation, there are several places that are especially good for foreigners interested in experiencing this fascinating bit of Mexican history and culture.
On Mexico‘s Caribbean coast, one of the most accessible places to witness some of the traditions related to the Day of the Dead is at Xcaret, the eco-cultural park located in the Riviera Maya. Every year, the venue hosts Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte (the Festival of Traditions of Life and Death), a multi-day celebration that includes traditional Mexican clothing from various eras, art exhibits, music and dance performances and interesting recreations of altars, cemetery markers and other cultural elements. It’s a colorful, music-filled event, with lots of great photo opportunities, as well as tasty regional cuisine to sample. Every year highlights the traditions of a different Mexican state; this year, it’s Campeche, and the celebration takes place from October 30 through November 3.
The Festival at Xcaret may be more staged than organic Day of the Dead celebrations in small towns elsewhere in Mexico, but the convenience of the location and extent of the events and exhibits at Xcaret make it a worthwhile option for people looking to learn more about Mexican culture while enjoying a Mexico beach vacation in Cancun or the Riviera Maya (the nation’s capital also has its own unique take on the tradition, check out these options for celebrating the Day of the Dead in Mexico City.)
I took the approximately one-hour ride from where I was staying in Cancun, the brand-new Aloft Cancun hotel (stay tuned for my hotel review) and snapped a bunch of photographs that show the color and energy of this ancient Mexican tradition. These are a few of my favorite shots.
MORE MEXICO TRAVEL TIPS
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