A year ago this week, I had the fortunate opportunity to be in Mexico during the week of Dia de los Muertos. Being from the United States, most of our neighborhood decorations and storefronts are decorated to celebrate Halloween, the reigning ‘holiday’ in the United States for the fall season. In Mexico, Halloween might be a night long event to be had at the all-inclusive resorts, but you’ll find natives directing their interest to the Dia de los Muertos festivities to honor their deceased loved ones.
Dia de los Muertos, known as Day of the Dead, is a multi-day celebration of life and death. Traditionally, the events are held the first two days of November. You’ll find this holiday to be focused around families who commemorate the lives of their loved ones who have since passed on.
Last year, I happened to be visiting resorts in Mexico during Day of the Dead and I loved every minute of it! I had the most amazing opportunity to visit Sandos Caracol Eco Resort during their tremendous Dia de Los Muertos celebration. Their celebration is so well done and so well known, locals from around the greater Playa del Carmen area will come to visit and celebrate at the hotel!
Click Here to watch a short video about Sandos Day of the Dead Event
There are an endless number of different activities and events that Sandos puts on for guests. Follow the photos below to see how beautiful this event is at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, along with fun facts about Dia de los Muertos!
Constructing altars is one of the most common Day of the Dead activities that families will partake in. The altars are traditionally adorned with foods, drinks, flowers, photos, candles, and trinkets that hold special meaning.
Graveside Vigils are common practice in many Mexican communities. Technically, November 1 is in recognition of children who have passed Dia de los Inocentes, November 2 is for adults. Many communities keep the tradition of graveside vigils alive by hosting ceremonies early on November 1. Aside from the vigils, another common practice is for individuals to go and clean up and decorate the graves of their loved ones during this two day celebration. At Sandos Caracol, they constructed their own Mexican Cemetery, even with loved ones names adorned across the makeshift tombstones.
The Catrina Parade is a Day of the Dead tradition most commonly found in Mexico City. Catrina, La Calavera Catrina, or rather, Elegant Skull Doll is an iconic piece to day of the dead. In the Catrina Parade, people will dress up and paint themselves to represent the traditional Calavera Catrina. Sandos put on a fantastic parade! What a blast this was to listen to the vibrant music and see the fun outfits and headpieces! The parade is set to take place around 4pm each day of the event this year at Sandos Caracol, and of course, all of the children (and maybe adults too!) are encouraged to participate!
Marigolds are the star of the show when it comes to flowers for Day of the Dead. The Marigold is commonly referred to as cempasúchiles or flor de muerto (flower of death). This flower tends to bloom in the season just before Dia de los Muertos, and therefore Mexicans have given this flower the credit for helping guide loved ones’ souls back to the earth of the living. Marigolds can be found almost anywhere during Day of the Dead: gravesites, altars, food displays, and general decoration.
The sugar skull is likely the most recognized symbol of Day of the Dead to visitors. The sugar skull is usually bought or created by families to add to the altar for their deceased loved ones. Many times, the name of the loved one can be found on the head somewhere too. At Sandos, one of their many activities is a class for decorating sugar skulls. As you walk around the resort, you can find sugar skulls of all sizes!
If you’d love to learn more about Sandos Caracol, and what beautiful wedding venues and fun activities it holds in store for your destination wedding or social group, reach out to us today! We’d love to tell you all about it, find us here!
All Photos are credited to DeGroot Film Company. Check them out for all your photography needs!