Photo: CLAUDIO CRUZ / AFP / Getty Images
Mexico City, Oct 31 (EFE) .- Colorful skulls, presumed catrinas and smiling skeletons returned this Sunday from the underworld to walk through Mexico City on the occasion of the great Day of the Dead parade, which this year returned stronger than ever after being suspended in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Considered the largest Day of the Dead parade to date, had ten allegorical floats and a thousand participants, such as musical stars and 350 dancers and acrobats.
For about five hours, they entertained the day to the rhythm of salsa and cumbia to the thousands of citizens and tourists who packed the 8.7 kilometers of the parade, from the central Zócalo square to Campo Marte, crossing the Paseo de la Reforma.
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the fall into the hands of the Spanish conquerors of Tenohctitlan, present-day Mexico City, the parade included groups with indigenous costumes moving to the beat of the drums.
Precisely, the Day of the Dead, the most universal Mexican tradition, is born from the syncretic relationship between the pre-Hispanic vision of death and Catholic customs.
Between November 1 and 2, Mexicans await the arrival of the souls of their deceased, to spend the night in cemeteries or in offerings made at home with the favorite food of those who left.
A party of colors
“It is beautiful, incredible. It is the first time we come to Mexico and you can see that people have a lot of love for their culture, “Bibiana, a Colombian tourist, who is fascinated by the fact that Mexicans express their identity” with a lot of color, told Efe.
The color was provided by the great protagonists of this parade: the catrinas, the famous figure of a skeleton dressed as a great lady created by the artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) and baptized by Diego Rivera (1886-1957), which symbolizes this festivity.
Also alebrijes, fantastic creatures made up of elements of different animals, and marigold flowers, which according to tradition guide souls thanks to their intense orange color.
And it is that unlike the gloomy Halloween, the joy invades the Day of the Dead because in reality it is about celebrating the life that still remains.
“The tradition of the Day of the Dead is not lost and the parade seemed like a very good idea. The truth is that we have been locked up for a long time and now going out and seeing this beautiful parade was great (great), “Beatriz, who took her children on the tour, told EFE.
The truth is that the great parade of the Day of the Dead is not as traditional as it might seem, since it began to be held in 2016, when the capital authorities decided to reproduce the procession that appears in the movie “Specter” of the James Bond saga, shot in Mexico City.
But it is an opportunity for the deceased Frida Kahlo, Cantinflas or María Félix to once again walk through the streets of Mexico City, even in allegorical floats dedicated to these characters.
And also to pay tribute to everyday trades deeply rooted in the Mexican capital, such as taqueros or street sweepers.
In honor of those killed by the pandemic
Although this year the parade was dedicated to the almost 300,000 Mexicans who have taken the covid-19 pandemic, which also forced last year to cancel this procession.
As a result of the second wave of infections registered between the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, the Mexican authorities recommended that citizens celebrate holidays such as the Day of the Dead and Christmas in small groups at home.
Many cemeteries closed then to avoid crowds, but this year, thanks to the advance of vaccination, public activities for the Day of the Dead returned, which in Mexico City has the great parade as its zenith. EFE