Known as “Day of the Dead” in English, Día de Los Muertos is a unique Mexican holiday. It is a festive and heartfelt celebration that honors and respects loved ones who have passed on. In Puerto Vallarta and throughout Mexico, Día de Los Muertos festivities typically begin in late October and last through the first week of November with November 2nd being the official holiday. The celebrations are a time for family and friends to gather together to pay homage to loved ones who are no longer with us. Together, family members will lovingly create altars to honor the deceased. Known as ofrendas in Spanish, colorful and vibrant altars are constructed in homes and in graveyards. Keep reading more below about Día de Los Muertos.
The History of Día de Los Muertos – Where it All Began
Día de Los Muertos origins are based in ancient pre-Columbian traditions. In fact, Día de Los Muertos practices have been around for more than 2,500–3,000 years. Initially, the event was celebrated during the summer months. However, the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century prompted a move to the fall. Likewise, the date change occurred in order to coincide with the Western Christianity traditions of All Saints Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. Thesedays, events begin in late October and last through the first week of November. November 2nd is the official Día de Los Muertos holiday. On that day, friends and family visit the gravesites of their loved ones who have passed on and joyfully celebrate their memory together. Many people even spend all night talking and honoring their loved ones.
Day of the Dead Altars
Today, Día de Los Muertos is still an important celebration and big part of Mexican culture. The event has been a family tradition for many centuries. It remains a special time for families and friends to come together to celebrate those who have passed on before us. Día de Los Muertos altars, or ofrendas, are carefully constructed. They contain personal touches of specific food, drinks and other things that the deceased person loved. In addition, altars are decorated with calaveras or skulls, and bright and beautiful aztec marigold flowers. In addition, the centerpiece of the altar typically contains a framed photo of the deceased. Together, families will spend many hours together and even stay overnight at the altar site remembering their loved one. Altars and ofrendas are believed to safely guide the deceased on their spiritual journey into the afterlife.
Day of the Dead in PV
Will you be vacationing in Puerto Vallarta this year during Día de Los Muertos? The COVID pandemic has prompted various adjustments to be made for travelers and residents. Some regularly scheduled events may not take place this year, or there may be certain restrictions in place to keep guests safe. Either way, Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place to visit this time of year. The weather is great and the Malecon boardwalk is open. There, beautiful ofrendas (also known as altars) will be on display for visitors and residents to enjoy. With lovely colors, designs and food and drink, it’s a special tradition that wonderfully showcases the best of Mexican culture. Plus, there are sure to be colorful and unique Día de Los Muertos decorations around town, too. Bring your facemask, avoid crowded spaces and get out and about and enjoy life. Ironically, Día de Los Muertos creates a lively and upbeat atmosphere that everyone will enjoy.
On November 2nd, the town and the rest of Mexico will be observing the annual Day of the Dead celebration. Remember, always follow recommended safety and hygiene measures, but still get outside and enjoy life! Also, in the days leading up to November 2nd, you can create your own Day of the Dead altar at home. It’s a beautiful tradition that celebrates and honors loved ones that have passed on before us. Are you ready to plan a trip to Mexico? If you are, head to sunny Puerto Vallarta. There, Villa Group Resorts have special affordable all-inclusive travel packages on sale right now. They are an award winning resort with incredible accommodations, amenities and services. Contact the Villa Group today to make your reservation so you can spend Day of the Dead in Mexico.