Hanal Pixan / Day of the Dead celebration

Experiencing the local culture and traditions is sought by most visitors while traveling abroad. A very unique date is coming up in Mexico; the Day of the Dead celebration. The Mayan version of this catholic celebration is called Hanal Pixan. It falls on November 1 and 2 (one day for adults, and one for children) and is commemorated by elaborate altars dedicated to dead relatives.

It is a compromise between the two religions with crucifixes mingled with skull decorations and food sacrifices/offerings. Múkbil pollo is the Mayan version of a tamal pie offered to the dead on All Saints’ Day, traditionally accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate. Many Yucatecans enjoy eating this on and around the Day of the Dead. And, while complicated to make, they can be purchased. (Muk-bil literally means “to put in the ground” or to cook in a pib, an underground oven). It is also interesting to visit the smaller communities near Merida, such as Tecoh.

The already festive colors of the cemetery are duplicated by flower and fruit offerings set at the tombstones and crypts of deceased relatives and friends. Do not be surprised to find a family gathered around a tombstone, having a meal while somebody plays on the guitar the deceased favorite songs by Pedro Infante and Guty Cárdenas.

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