Celebrating day of the dead in Oaxaca, Mexico

In the beginning of November, I was still in Mexico living out of a backpack and enjoying warm weather and eating tacos three times a day. I was also super excited about celebrating Day of the Dead, it’s one of those bucket-list-things I’ve always wanted to do, so actually being in Mexico for it was amazing! From day to night the streets were filled with people dressed up in costumes, faces painted as sugar skulls, stands selling everything from chocolate and wine to jewelry, clothes, and tacos. People were playing music in the streets and restaurants were filled with people eating great food, talking and drinking wine.

Of course we got our faces painted!

Of course we got our faces painted!

Several times during the days there were comparsas happening, basically people dancing and playing music on the streets. So much fun but slightly chaotic. Unfortunately, whoever decides over the weather didn’t understand these days were for celebrations, it went back and forth between decent weather and pouring rain. Making it quite difficult for me and my camera to get along. Also, there were people literally everywhere, moving, dancing, singing and not caring that I was trying to take pretty pictures of all the costumes. So bare with me with these ones…

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When darkness came around nobody seemed to care, there were still people everywhere, dancing and enjoying themselves. A must-do-thing is to visit a cemetery at night, so obviously that happened. I went to Panteon General to find even more people, stands selling the most amazing street food, stands selling jewelry and drinks, and even some carnival rides. Honestly, I was a bit surprised, having thought it would be a more sacred and quiet event. In the cemetery, there were candles everywhere and some performance in Spanish. When I’d made my way around I simply headed back out to eat, eat and then eat some more. The food in Oaxaca was the most amazing ever, so I basically spend all my time eating. Not that that was a problem in any way.

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During the last night of the celebrations, I met up with some friends I’d met along the way, and we all hopped in a cab for what turned out to be a complete failing mission to go to “the big cemetery” we had heard of. On our way there we quickly realize it was not what we had expected, it wasn’t anything at all actually. The cemetery was dark and closed, and the entire area was completely dead (unintended pun). So not even wanting to get out of the cab, we headed back towards Zócalo (the main square) to find the celebration again. And find it we did. A Mexican band was playing and the whole street was filled with people dancing, a perfect way for these days to end.

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