A woman in costume at Hollywood Forever Cemetery's 19th annual Día De Los Muertos event, October 27 2018
A woman in costume at Hollywood Forever Cemetery's 19th annual Día De Los Muertos event, October 27 2018

Day of the Dead 2018: The best pictures from Mexico City’s Día de Muertos parade

The first Día de Muertos parade in Mexico City took place in 2016 following the release of James Bond film Spectre

Sabrina Barr
Sunday 28 October 2018 20:32

On Saturday 27 October, thousands of people took part in the spectacular "Día de Muertos" parade in Mexico City in commemoration of loved ones who have passed away.

The annual celebration, also referred to as the "Day of the Dead", is a very jubilant occasion, full of colour, skeletal iconography and traditional Mexican dancing.

Saturday's parade was the third to take place in Mexico City, with a quarter of a million people attending the first parade, held two years ago.

While Día de Muertos has been observed in various iterations for centuries, prior to 2016, no parade took place in the Mexican capital.

Following the popularity of the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, which opens with Daniel Craig causing a commotion at a Day of the Dead festival in the capital city of Mexico, the government decided to officially introduce the parade the following year in an effort to boost tourism in the region.

Here are the best pictures from the Day of the Dead parade:

This year's parade was dedicated to migrants who have lost their lives travelling to other countries.

So what exactly is the Día de Muertos celebration and how is it observed? Here's everything you need to know.

What is Día de Muertos?

Día de Muertos is an annual holiday celebrated by communities in Mexico and people throughout the world who have Mexican heritage.

During the celebration, people pay homage to loved ones who have passed away.

The holiday combines indigenous Azetic rituals with Catholicism.

In 2008, the tradition of Día de Muertos was formally recognised as an indigenous festivity of the Mexican people by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

How is it celebrated?

Many people will honour their friends or family who have died by creating shrines in their homes in dedication to them, preparing their favourite dishes and decorating their graves with flowers.

One of the most widely recognised symbols of Día de Muertos is the skull, with numerous people wearing skull masks and skeletal body paint during the celebrations.

Often edible or decorative calaveras, representations of the human skull made from candy or clay, are made in recognition of the event.

The way in which people celebrate Día de Muertos varies by location, with some people holding feasts in memory of the deceased and others partaking in traditional dances.

When is Día de Muertos?

Having previously been celebrated by Mexicans throughout the summer centuries ago, the date of Día de Muertos was moved to coincide with Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, with celebrations typically taking place from 31 October until 2 November.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

November 1 is widely referred to as 'Día de los Inocentes' ('Day of the Innocents'), to remember young children and infants who have died, with the next day recognised as the official Día de Muertos.

November 2 is taken as a public holiday in Mexico in commemoration of the event.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments