When death fills the city with life: Day of the Dead in San Miguel de Allende

That season in which San Miguel de Allende dresses with marigolds has arrived. The public and private corners are adorned with seeds and flowers, ready to welcome those who have left. The strips of papel picado paint the sky with colors and trace the paths that our deceased will follow back home. The entire city becomes a living offering that reflects the culture, traditions and the joy that, as Mexicans, we carry in our hearts.

In our beautiful Mexico, not only life is a cause for celebration, but also death. Our indigenous ancestors considered that death was part of the life cycle and that dying was just the beginning of a long journey to different destinations. The Teotihuacanos and Aztecs honored their deceased loved ones with feasts, altars and rituals, all focused on keeping alive in the collective memory those who had already left for the other world. Over the years this tradition was adapted to the principles of the Catholic religion until it became what we now know as the Day of the Dead.

In San Miguel de Allende the journey through this ancestral tradition begins on November 1 with the “All Saints Day”. On this special day, altars are set up and offerings are placed in some neighborhoods of the city and in the main square, commemorating the deceased who were fundamental pieces of our local history. At night, the catrinas and catrines take the streets, parading in their best costumes, dancing and singing. On the sidewalks there are artists who use the faces of canvas to paint skulls, and who adorn the clothes with flowers and sequins. Death fills the city with life, art and laughter.

On November 2, “Day of the Faithful Dead”, you can enjoy musical concerts and concheros festivals that remind us of the indigenous legacy of this celebration. Families visit the pantheons bringing to their deceased flowers and offerings. Personal rituals are complemented by local activities that make San Miguel de Allende a unique place to enjoy the sensory experience of the Day of the Dead. In addition to being a tradition full of meaning, this festival offers a wonderful artistic setting and a presentation of culinary delights such as pan de muerto and other dishes that accompany the occasion.

Experience the Day of the Dead and live the magic of our traditions in San Miguel de Allende!

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