For the eighth consecutive year, the renowned Festival of Life and Death will be held in the eco-park Xcaret. This festival has become a beautiful tradition for many residents in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, as well as for the thousands of new and repetitive visitors in the destination.
This year, the Festival of Life and Death will take place from the 30th of October to the 3rd of November. It follows the ancient celebration in Mexico of the Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. It is one of the most traditional, syncretic and beeautiful celebrations in all Mexico, combining indigenous and catholic beliefs. It also is part of the Cultural Heritage List by the UNESCO since 2008.
The Festival of Life and Death takes place at night and visitors perceive an atmosphere full of magic, tradition, spirit and culture in all areas of the magnificent park that is primarily illuminated by thousands of candles during those days.
One of the most important aspects of the Day of the Dead in Mexico is to honor and remember loved ones with altars. These are set inside houses or by the loved one’s grave with photographs of the deceased, their favorite meals and drinks, articles representing their hobbies or what they most enjoyed. Altars are decorated with the traditional cempasuchil (marigold flowers) along with papel picado, small skulls and other symbols of death in sugar and chocolate.
This year, the festival is themed around the legend of the Xtabay, a mythical character of the Mayan culture represented by a beautiful woman, who supposedly appears to men at night, when they’re alone, and takes them with her.
Xcaret shows a large number of altars made by people from the surrounding Riviera Maya region. There are also food stalls offering traditional dishes of the Yucatecan region and from Mexico in general, mainly those related to the festivity. The Cemetery of Xcaret is an illustration of the real Maya cemeteries and during the festival, it is lit by candles offering a unique ambiance to traverse it and appreciate the emblematic inscriptions on the tombs.
The festival offers a large number of performances and displays of music, art, crafts and theater for all ages. In addition, there are special concerts with great musicians and larger events related to the theme of the Día de Muertos.
Don’t miss 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 you can give us a call!
Photos by Xcaret.