In the heart of Mexico City, tourists embrace Day of the Dead celebrations


MEXICO CITY, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Foreign tourists and Mexicans attending Day of the Dead celebrations flocked to downtown Mexico City on Monday, lured by elaborate offerings to the deceased.

Visitors gazed at the grand altars decorated with chocolate skulls, freshly cut fruits and marigolds around Zocalo Plaza, Mexico City’s bustling main square built near the ruins of the Aztec Empire’s holiest temples.

The shrines honoring the dead at the Zocalo are part of a tradition that blends Catholic rituals with the pre-Hispanic belief that the dead return once a year from the underworld.

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“In people of all cultures there is this fear of death, but here you can see them celebrating that,” said Miguel Torres, a Colombian tourist whose face and lips were painted in deadly black and white. .

A woman harvests Cempasuchil marigolds to be used during Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations at the San Luis Tlaxialtemalco nursery, in Xochimilco, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

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“It’s important to get to know new cultures and to see that death is a new stage that sooner or later has to happen to everyone.”

Adorned with traditional Mexican bread as well as bananas, oranges and corn, the altars also featured pictures of deceased elderly people. Tourists posed for photos next to giant white skulls painted with bright flowery images.

“The skulls, the shamanic part underneath feels very deep to me, it goes to the roots of what death is,” said Dayan Melendez, an American tourist from Colorado.

“For me, it’s very emotional and I think we’re renewing the indigenous culture so it doesn’t scare me.”

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Written by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Karishma Singh

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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