Mexico’s Day of the Dead is sometimes compared to Halloween, but that’s not really a good comparison. It’s more like a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day with all the trappings of a celebration – except the honored guests aren’t physically here.
That doesn’t stop Mexicans and other Latin American residents from bringing the party to their dead relatives and friends. Families spend the afternoons at the cemeteries with food, drink and musicians to honor the departed. Nov. 1 is reserved for children who have died, and Nov. 2 is for the adults.
In many other cultures death is a closeted subject, not talked about unless there is an immediate reason to confront it. But I find this open recognition of death a far more healthy and positive affirmation of life. To get a feel for what it’s like, visitors could swing by a local Tijuana cemetery (just ask a cab driver to take you to one near the city’s downtown) or visit any of these Tijuana Day of the Dead events.
The Casa de la Cultura de Tijuana (not to be confused with the CECUT building) will host traditional events and dance performances from the evening of (Friday) Oct. 31 to (Saturday) Nov. 1. For more information (in Spanish) go here .
Avenida Revolucion will also be hosting live music and other events Sunday afternoon, Nov. 2, between 3rd and 5th Streets, according to El Sol de Tijuana.
Tangentially, the visiting Mummies of Guanajuato are still on display at the old Jai Alai building on Avenida Revolucion. For more information, go here.
Photo: Taken near Mulege, Baja California. Large numbers of roadside crosses are another manifestation of Mexico’s public affirmations of death.