Merida: Festival De Las Animas 2019.

October 28, 2019

My last post was a full guide all about the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, but I wanted to write one specific to Merida region. 

Last year (2018) I was lucky enough to be in Merida, Yucatan for the Day of the Dead celebrations. It was an unforgettable experience, a real bucket list event, I have included plenty photos below too. 

With 2019’s celebrations quickly approaching I wanted to share what Merida has to offer during the festivities and why this region in particular is a little different.

 

If you want more information about what the Day of the Dead is and all the customs and traditions that go along with it: click here

 

 

  

Hanal Pixan

Hanal Pixán is the name given to the Day of the Dead celebrations of the Maya people who live in the Yucatan Peninsula. The term literally translates as “food of souls” in the Mayan language. In this area, food holds a special meaning as traditional dishes are prepared for the spirits who are believed to return on this day to visit their families.

Some of the regional foods include: Yucatecan chicken and pork pot pie dish, mucbilpollo, and a special egg-batter bread, pan de muerto, or bread of the dead.

 

 

 

Paseo de las Ánimas 

The walk (which starts at 7pm) recreates the course that the souls would have to travel  according to the Merida of ancient times. It starts from the General Cemetery to the Arch of San Juan , as is tradition in customs of the Meridans and Yucatecans. 

 

The procession of the souls is made up of adults and children characterized as deceased dressed in the typical Yucatecan costume. Among the activities you can enjoy a regional gastronomic show, a Mayan ceremony and dairy of the souls.

 

On the next day the 29th October: The main square in front of the cathedral will have a stage set up. There will be a theatrical show and dancing. The show will have a mix of modern and Mayan folklore songs. Women wear special embroidery, rosary beads and have seasonal flowers in their hair. Men will be wearing Panama hats and red scarves. They will have one trouser leg rolled up to show their calf and they will both dance around a May Pole. 

 

 

 

 

 

Camino De Flores or “Flower Walk”.

 

Officially opening on 25th October, installed in Merida’s Parque De La Paz. 

The garden will have flower sculptures and plant installations. There are over 100,000 flowers on display and if you visit during the evening there will be a light and music show to compliment the walk.  

There is also a multimedia video show which will  be screened on the walls of the building of the Ex – Penitentiary during the evening.

If you do go and spot a floral hummingbird, that is there to represent the messages between the living and the dead. 

The flower walk will run from October 25th-November 12th and admission is free.

 

 

 

Merida guide:

 

Getting around Merida is very easy to get around, there are local taxis, Uber and city buses. I frequently used Uber. Journey times about 10 minutes cost no more than £3. The city bus is ludicrously cheap, prices start from 20p.

 

Walking in the city is relatively straightforward. It's a grid system so easy follow on a map.

 

 

For more information about visiting Merida, read my guide here.

 

Yucatan Today have shared a calendar of events and timings below:

 

 

 

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