The famous Mexican festival that commemorates the dead, el Día de los Muertos, otherwise known as Day of the Dead, is well known as both a touching and joyous celebration and will take place in Oaxaca on Nov. 1-2, 2010.
The festival allows people to remember and honour the lives of their ancestors as they decorate the cemeteries as well as pray, sing, eat, and drink throughout the evening.
The roots of the festival can be traced back to pre-Hispanic times in Mexico, when there was a month of the year set aside to commemorate the spirits of the deceased.
In the town of Oaxaca, much like most Mexican cities, two days are celebrated.
One of them is known as the Día de los Angelitos which falls on November 1st and honours the souls of departed children.
The Día de Los Muertos takes place on November 2nd and honours the spirits of adults.
It takes weeks to get ready for the event as many local shops are decorated with lanterns, paper skulls, plastic skeletons, themed candy, and costumes.
Cemeteries are often decorated and family members take along the favourite drink and food of the deceased along with their photographs.
During the Día de los Angelitos, toys and other items are laid on altars in the home. The children’s spirits are invited to the feast and places at the table are set for them.
During the second day there are several colourful events held in the main Xocalo square, old town restaurants, the Palace Museum, and many of the city’s theatres.
There’s also a traditional dinner during the evening as well as public altars, concerts, and flower offerings.