Mexico: Day Of The Dead
Believe it or not, the "Dia de los Muertos" -- November 1st or 2nd -- can be a wonderful time to visit Mexico.
For, contrary to the somber name, the Dias de los Muertos-- celebrated on the Christian Holy Days of All Saints Day and All Souls Day-- are a celebration full of flowers and candy and chocolates. (Though admittedly, the candy is in the shape of skulls).
Day of the Dead: Background
In a culture which believes in a vibrant afterlife, dead loved ones can be remembered with joy. Skeletons and skulls may be everywhere, but they're in the forms of costumes and candy.
People parade through the streets as ghosts and skeletons, while in private homes altars are adorned with flowers, candy, pictures of deceased relatives, and candles meant to burn all night. The next day, families travel to the cemetery with rakes and flowers, candles and picnic baskets, to clean the graves of their loved ones and spend all day and night remembering them.
For more about this fascinating holiday, check
Day of the Dead, at About.com's Mexico Travel site.
Day of the Dead: Places for Visitors to Watch Festivities
Day of the Dead celebrations vary from town to town. About.com's Guide for Mexico Travel highlights some top Day of the Dead destinations, where the celebrations are especially colorful and visitors are welcome. The town of Oaxaca is one of her choices, as is Merida in Mexico's Yucatan.
For families who like their all-inclusive resort vacations: "Days of the Dead" celebrations in Playa del Carmen may offer the chance to catch this festive occasion while on a beach getaway in the Riviera Maya. Also, in the Riviera Maya, the popular eco-theme park Xcaret has an annual "Festival of Life and Dead Traditions", Nov. 1 and 2nd.