Observing Day of the Dead: Altar Offerings, Market Visit, and Cemeteries’ at night
Prepare yourself for a long day full of new experiences that will bring you closer to understanding the historyand intimacies of the Day of the Dead.
The day begins with a visit the sprawling central market of Oaxaca, covering several city blocks. During the week of Day of the Dead, the market is full of vibrant, seasonal offerings and you will have a chance to see the locals hurrying to buy fresh bread and marigolds, candles, incense, sugar skeleton skulls, and more traditional altar offerings for tonight’s observance. You will be captivated by the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling market in this unique experience of getting to see how Oaxaca prepares for this very special night.
After the market, our day continues towards the local cemeteries to observe how typical “Altares de Muertos” are made. You will learn the significance behind each aspect of the altar, such as what the levels, gifts, and offerings represent, and the cultural beliefs between the connection of life and death on this day.
Later this evening one the sun has set, meet again to continue with our highlight of the day: the Observance of Day of Dead at night
First stop at San Miguel Cemetery, one of the many sacred places in Oaxaca, for an inauguration event where magic explodes in the form of ten thousandcandle flames, softly swirling and beautifully illuminating 2,000 niches of the cemetery. We will then continue towards the small village of Xoxocotlan to meet a local family and share dinner as special guests in their home. You will have a chance to try the traditional tamales, pan de muertobread,and the specialhot chocolate that goes with it. After dinner, we will join the family on their visit to the local Xoxocotlan cemetery and help them decorate one of their ancestors’ tombs. After midnight, you will witness how the entire town gradually fills the cemetery with flowers and candles, adorning the graves of their loved ones and sitting patiently by the tombstone all night waiting for their loved one’s arrival.