Mexico City - Hollywood movies, zombie shows and Halloween are fast changing Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations, which traditionally consisted of quiet family gatherings at the graves of their departed loved ones bringing them music, drink and conversation.
Mexico's capital held its first Day of the Dead parade Saturday, complete with floats, giant skeleton marionettes and more than 1,000 actors, dancers and acrobats in costumes.
Tens of thousands turned out to watch the procession, which included routines like a phalanx of Aztec warriors with large headdresses doing tricks on rollerblade skates. "It would be hard to conserve these traditions without any changes," said Juan Robles, a 32-year-old carpenter who led the skating Aztecs. "This way, people can come and participate, the young and old."
Such a spectacle has never been a part of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations.
The idea for the parade was born out of the imagination of a scriptwriter for last year's James Bond movie Spectre. In the film, whose opening scenes were shot in Mexico City, Bond chases a villain through crowds of revelers in what resembled a parade of people in skeleton outfits and floats.
It's a bit of a feedback loop: Just as Hollywood dreamed up a Mexican spectacle to open the film, once millions had seen the movie, Mexico had to dream up a celebration to match it. "When this movie hit the big screen and was seen by millions and millions of people in 67 countries, that started to create expectations that we would have something," said Lourdes Berho, CEO of the government's Mexico Tourism Board. "We knew that this was going to generate a desire on the part of people here, among Mexicans and among tourists, to come and participate in a celebration, a big parade."
Mexico City authorities even promised that some of the props used in the movie would appear in the parade. The government board sponsoring the march called it part of "a new, multi-faceted campaign to bring tourists to Mexico during the Day of the Dead holiday."
Add to this the increasing popularity of "Zombie Walks" around the Day of the Dead, and the scads of Halloween witches, ghouls, ghosts & cobweb decorations sold in Mexico City street markets, and some see a fundamental change in the traditional Mexican holiday.Read the full story on FoxNews.com