Once again I had the opportunity to attend the Xcaret Festival of Life and Death Traditions, which celebrates el Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) and Hanal Pixan (the Mayan version of the Day of the Dead). This year’s theme was the legend of Ix’tabay, a mythical Mayan seductress.
Each year a different Mexican state is represented during the festival. This year that state was Campeche. In 2003 the vibrant annual festival was declared a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
“La Catrina” was waiting to greet all visitors.
This year I decided I was finally going to paint my face. Xcaret has little stands set up where you can paint your own face for free. I think I did pretty well for my first time. Bebé didn’t want to paint his face. Maybe next year.
I also bought a beautiful blouse with traditional Yucatan embroidery to wear to the festival.
Before we joined the press tour, Bebé and I explored the festival on our own. He kept pointing and shouting “Calavera!” which means “skull”.
Each year many altars are set up to honor the dead. Their photo, flowers, candles, their favorite foods and drinks and often personal effects are integrated into the altar.
The decorated cemetery is always a highlight, but a strange “fairy” of some sort scared the crap out of Bebé. Frankly I found him to be pretty scary as well.
After exploring we joined the press tour and headed to a couple of shows. Bebé never sits still for anything, except for live shows. I was a little worried that this one, Réquiem por un Payacho, was too gory for him, but he was only frightened when the characters came too close.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte. Nice job Xcaret!
If you would like to know more about Xcaret’s Festival of Life and Death Traditions, check out this video: