“Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.”
“Day of the Dead” or “Día de los Muerto” is a holiday celebrated in Mexico on November 1st to remember family that have passed onto the spiritual world. Though Day of the Dead sounds morbid and is held the same time of year as Halloween, it is actually a festive day with an emphasis on the belief that death is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life. And the dead continue to exist much as they did in their lives, and come back to visit the living every year. (This beautiful sentiment about the cycle of death is a theme echoed throughout the Mayan Riviera.) Hand-made sugar skulls are adorned with the name of loved ones, ornate masks and altars are decorated as shrines to the deceased. Having experienced the sudden loss of my brother, I absolutely love that a day is set aside specifically for families to come together in an upbeat way to pay tribute to those departed. (And if you knew my brother, you’d know he’d also have a great appreciation for the respect paid to those that have passed on…)
Halloween is a tradition that’s enjoyed around the world by kids & adults alike, especially here in North America. History chases its origins back to ancient Ireland (SEE, I can’t help my love of Halloween; it’s in my Irish DNA!) In pre-Christian times many people believed that spirits from the underworld and ghosts of dead people could visit the world of the living on the night of October 31 & so they donned costumes & masks to keep evil spirits away.
Anyone who knows our family knows Halloween is a big “ta-doo” around here. It’s a huge effort to pull off with all the decorating, the making of costumes & ghoulish food, all of which is orchestrated by a groaning MUMMY (yes me!). Despite the work, we do it because it’s just plain old-fashioned FUN. We do it because life can be nothing but a rat race (and even if you win the race you’re still a rat). Day in and day out of punching the proverbial clock, cooking & cleaning, paying your taxes, paying your taxes…did I mention paying your taxes? 😉 I think (and know) it’s a rich experience for our kids to see us dress up & act silly at least one day of the year! And if you’re lucky, you get to pull off a really funny prank on your neighbor (been there, done that and have the crack in my skull to show for it…NAH, just kiddin’! 😉
In Playa del Carmen Mexico, many folks celebrate both Dia de los Muretos and Halloween together in a respective way. Being that Playa has such an international flair and is host to many ex-pats, many people enjoy the tradition of dressing up in some “spook-tacular” outfits. Many bars have costume parties and prizes which attract some pretty interesting creatures of the night! (see side picture of my little “ghouls” in front of a cool skeleton display on 5th ave!)
Xcaret, the popular eco-archeological theme park (or Mayan Disneyland!), celebrates The Life and Death Festival (Oct. 30th – Nov. 2nd) with traditional rituals, games, dance, music, face painting and pumpkin carving! Check it out! http://festivaldevidaymuerte.com/EN/index.php
If you’re taking a trip to Playa del Carmen, give the “fang-tastic” Tonya of PBC rentals a call and she’ll scare up a great deal for you!
“Spooky Gal” aka “Playa Gal” (a very satisfied client working to promote Playa Beach Condos & Villas!) email@example.com (PS- Click on the feed and visit my ongoing blogs!)