For the 13th consecutive year, the renowned Festival of Life and Death will take place at Xcaret Eco-Park. This festival coincides with Mexico’s Day of the Dead festivities at the end of October and early November. Above all, it’s become a beautiful tradition for thousands of new and repeat visitors looking for tours and excursions in Cancun. Add this festival to your list if you’re staying there around this time, especially if you’re coming with the family!
Remember: when you purchase your ticket to Xcaret from October 30th to November 2nd, you automatically get entrance to the eco-park’s Day of the Dead festivities. Read on to find out more details about this world-class festival full of Mexican color and folklore.
What is Xcaret’s Festival of Life and Death and When Is It?
The Festival of Life and Death is a yearly staple of Xcaret Eco-Park in Playa del Carmen. It’s its way of celebrating the Mexican tradition of Dia de Muertos — Day of the Dead. The festivities coincide with the Christian celebrations of All Saints’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. While it perfectly blends with European and Catholic beliefs, Day of the Dead prominently displays indigenous Mexican traditions. Thus it’s one of the most syncretic, traditional and beautiful celebrations in all of Mexico. Furthermore, UNESCO proclaimed the celebration part of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2003.
In 2018, the Festival of Life and Death will take place at Xcaret Eco-Park from Tuesday, October 30th to Friday, November 2nd. Certainly, the spirit of Halloween will be present, especially because the festival takes place at night, and one of them will of course be All Hallow’s Eve. Visitors perceive an atmosphere full of magic, tradition, spirit and culture in all areas of the magnificent park. Thousands of candles will illuminate the park, particularly the Xcaret Cemetery to illustrate how real Maya cemeteries look. This will undoubtedly add a unique ambiance when you traverse the cemetery and appreciate the emblematic inscriptions on the tombs.
Which Day of the Dead Decorations Will I Find?
One of the most important aspects of the Day of the Dead in Mexico is to honor and remember loved ones with altars. People place these inside houses or beside the loved one’s tomb with photographs of this person when alive. Additionally, offerings include their favorite meals and drinks, and articles representing their hobbies. Altars are decorated with traditional cempasuchil (marigold flowers) along with papel picado (perforated paper decorations). Also, small skulls and other symbols of death in sugar and chocolate are part of the decorations. You’ll see all of this represented at the Xcaret festivities.
What’s the Theme of the Festival of Life and Death?
Especially relevant, the festival’s 2018 edition is titled ‘Souls of Silver‘ and the Mexican state of Zacatecas will be the guest of honor. The celebration will offer a large number of performances and displays of music, art, crafts and theater for all ages. In addition, there will special concerts by acclaimed Mexican singers Ely Guerra and Eugenia Leon. Plus, you’ll find other smaller cultural events relating to the theme of Day of the Dead throughout the park. See the Festival of Life and Death program here to get the full picture.
Moreover, Xcaret Eco-Park will display a large number of altars made by people from the surrounding Riviera Maya region. There will also be food stalls offering traditional dishes from the Yucatan region and from Mexico in general. Mainly, the foods are related to the festivity, but don’t be surprised to find delicacies to enjoy any time of the year.
Experience Day of the Dead in Cancun!
In conclusion, you simply must live the Festival of Life and Death at Xcaret during your time in Cancun! Certainly if you’ve already booked your Cancun hotel for late October, early November, simply add Xcaret to your list of things to do in Cancun.
Similarly, you must experience the festival if you’re instead staying in the Riviera Maya and/or in Playa del Carmen at this time. Don’t miss out on this beautiful, unique event. Amstar representatives at your resort will be happy to provide you with more information and help you arrange your visit to this magnificent festival. Or contact us ahead of time to make any special arrangements for you to see the Day of the Dead come truly alive!
—This is an update of the original October 2013 post.