Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - In cities throughout Mexico, Día de Los Muertos festivities begin on October 31 and continue through November 2. But, if you happen to be in Puerto Vallarta this year, you will enjoy an eight-day Spooktacular that includes art, music, food, contests, parades and more!
The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Despite the dreary name, El Día de Los Muertos is marked by vibrant bouquets of marigolds, heaping plates of favorite foods and lively parties that all celebrate lost loved ones in the ancient Mexican tradition.
Intent on preserving Mexico's traditions, every year, the Puerto Vallarta municipal government, together with various neighborhood associations and businesses, organize a series of frightfully fun activities to be held in the downtown area, on the Malecón, in public squares - and even in shopping centers.
Some of the highlights of this year's Festival, which runs through November 4th, are: the colorful Day of the Dead altars and Catrina displays in various public places; free tours of a local cemetery with a guide who explains Día de Los Muertos and its traditions; and all kinds of music and dance performances, street parties, costume contests and family fun - everywhere you turn!
One of the most popular events is the traditional ¡La Muerte está Viva! parade that departs from the cemetery on San Salvador street (a.k.a. Panteon de la 5 de Diciembre) at 5:00 pm; winds through downtown in a colorful procession of Catrines and Catrinas, floats and musicians; and ends at Lázaro Cárdenas Park, where La Catrina Mexicana, a Mexican Kermes, features live music and dancing, booths selling traditional Mexican food and more from 6:00-11:00 pm.
Permanent exhibitions of altars and offerings will be on display from Wednesday, October 31 through Sunday, November 4, in the exterior corridors of the Municipal Presidency, Los Arcos del Malecón, Iturbide Plaza, Hidalgo Park, the tourist office on Mina Street, the Santana Building on Juarez Street, the Plaza de Armas kiosk and on the Francisca Rodríguez walkway to Los Muertos Pier.
Unlike Halloween, when death is something to be feared, on El Día de Los Muertos death - or at least the memories of those who have died - is something to be celebrated. Come join in the family-friendly fun!Click HERE to download the full Day of the Dead Festival schedule of events (pdf).