The Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City
Tue, October 31, 2017
Mexican's mark the Day of the Dead – Dia de los Muertos – with a colourful parade in Mexico City.
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People take part in the Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City
Huge skeleton balloons were paraded through the streets as the afternoon procession went more than 4 miles (7 km) along the expansive Paseo de la Reforma on Saturday.
Women dressed in wedding gowns danced with their grooms, both with faces painted as skulls. Others wore traditional dress and old fashioned military uniform.
Many of the performers were dressed in the style of Mexico’s iconic skeleton figure known as “La Catrina” – a tall elegant skeleton with a plumed hat.
The Day of the Dead celebration coincides with Halloween and All Hallows' Eve on October 31 and the Christian holiday of All Saints Day on November 1.
What is Mexico’s Day of the Dead? Día de Muertos celebrations
Halloween 2017: Where did All Hallows’ Eve come from?
From October 31 to November 2, Mexicans decorate their relatives graves with marigolds and stay overnight to hold a vigil in the cemetery.
It is believed that dead loved ones return to the world of the living to visit their relatives during the Day of the Dead celebrations. Unlike Halloween, it is a time for remembrance.
“Halloween has nothing to do with ancestors," Stanley Brandes, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, told USA Today.
"Day of the Dead has everything to do with deceased relatives. That's the basis of it."
Day of the Dead in pictures: The most incredible images from the parade
Local media reported at least 300,000 people went to Saturday’s parade, up from some 200,000 people last year.
Sponsored by Mexico’s tourism and culture ministries, the parade was triple the size of last year’s maiden effort, inspired by a Day of the Dead parade featured in the opening sequence of the 2015 James Bond film “Spectre.”
Last year three young women wore La Catrina-style face paint, large feathered hats and 1900s-style dresses that they said had been used in “Spectre.”
According to the Day of the Dead traditions, the gates of heaven open for the spirits of children on November 1 and the spirits of adults on November 2.
The Day of the Dead in pictures: The parade through Mexico City
Day of the Dead in pictures: Huge skeleton balloons were paraded through the streets
Day of the Dead in pictures: Women wear old fashioned military uniform
Day of the Dead in pictures: Performers wear traditional dress