If you’re considering experiencing the Day of the Dead in Mexico City we’ve got the scoop on the best events for Día De Los Muertos. Dia de los Muertos in Mexico City is an experience like no other with the best Day of the Dead festivals, parades and events.
Mexico City takes center stage as one of the top destinations to experience the magic of this cherished holiday. The Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico City are a vibrant celebration of culture and tradition. At the heart of these celebrations is the renowned Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, a dazzling spectacle featuring giant fantastical creatures called alebrijes and captivating Catrinas. The city streets come alive with colorful ofrendas (altars)and lively processions. The sweet aroma of traditional Day of the Dead foods from pan de muerto and Mexican chocolate to ayotes en miel fills the air. It’s a blend of solemnity and joy that makes the Day of the Dead in Mexico a truly unforgettable experience.
During Dia de los Muertos in Mexico City, the entire city transforms into a beautiful canvas, adorned with marigold petals and decorative paper banners known as papel picado. You’ll find vibrant Catrinas, sugar skulls, and beautifully sugar skull painted faces wherever you go. The iconic Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City is a highlight, featuring enormous papier-mâché alebrijes that mesmerize with their intricate designs and vivid colors. This captivating event is among the best Day of the Dead events in Mexico City, drawing both locals and visitors to witness the spectacle.
Beyond the parade, the city hosts a wide range of Dia de los Muertos events, including exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances, offering a deep dive into the holiday’s cultural significance and artistic expressions. Whether you’re savoring the traditional flavors of Day of the Dead cuisine or admiring the intricate ofrendas, Mexico City provides an immersive journey into the heart of Day of the Dead in Mexico City.
Day of the Dead in Mexico City
From October through the first part of November, Mexico City bursts with lively Day of the Dead celebrations. This is when it’s believed that the spirits of departed loved ones return to visit their families. The city marks this occasion with parades, beautifully decorated altars, and various events that showcase the beauty of this cultural tradition. It’s a special time for both locals and tourists to experience Dia de los Muertos. Keep in mind that the exact dates and times of these events might change, so be sure to check for updates as the festivities draw near.
The Best Dia de los Muertos Events in Mexico City in 2023
La Llorona de Xochimilco
This is an extraordinary lakefront opera event that marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead season. La Llorona de Xochimilco features special nighttime boat tours through the scenic canals, departing from the Cuemanco docks in Xochimilco. The cost per person typically ranges from $500 to $600 pesos, and some packages include both the mesmerizing boat tour and a haunting performance that is renowned as one of the city’s most captivating Day of the Dead experiences. This immersive lakefront opera allows you to embrace the cultural significance of Dia de los Muertos while enjoying the eerie and enchanting atmosphere of Xochimilco’s waters. It’s an unforgettable way to kick off the season’s festivities.
- Date: Weekend nights from October 6 through November 19, 2023
- Place: the Cuemanco docks in Xochimilco
- Admission: MX$500 to MX$600 (approx US$28 to US$34)
Annual Alebrijes Parade
The Annual Alebrijes Parade is a spectacular display of wondrous and fantastical creatures, each a vivid manifestation of the imaginative prowess of Mexican artisans. Crafted using a papier-mâché technique known as “cartonería,” these whimsical beings come to life amidst the bustling energy of the Zócalo at noon. Following their vibrant debut, they embark on a captivating journey along the iconic streets of 5 de Mayo and Juárez, passing by the enchanting Alameda Central, and making their way towards the grand Paseo de la Reforma. The parade continues its mesmerizing route, eventually reaching the majestic Ángel de la Independencia. This enchanting procession is a true visual feast, celebrating the creativity and artistry that are an integral part of Mexico’s cultural heritage.
- Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023 They’ll remain on display on the sidewalks until November 5, 2023.
- Place: the Zócalo in Mexico City
The Mega Procession of the Catrinas
The Mega Procession of the Catrinas, also known as the Catrinas Parade, welcomes massive crowds, ranging from passionate participants to those simply looking to witness the spectacle. This annual event has grown increasingly impressive with each passing year, and the nighttime procession has a profound impact on all who attend. Best of all, it’s an entirely free event that unfolds along the iconic Paseo de la Reforma, inviting everyone to partake in the mesmerizing celebration of Dia de los Muertos.
- Date: Sunday October 22 of 2023 They’ll remain on display on the sidewalks until November 5, 2023.
- Place: along the Paseo de la Reforma
Historic Center Ofrendas and Floral Arrangements Festival
The Historic Center Ofrendas and Floral Arrangements Festival captures the essence of one of the most beautiful traditions of the Day of the Dead: the placement of Ofrendas onto altars in homes, local businesses, and public spaces. It’s a heartfelt way for everyone to add their personal touch. As families and friends pay visits to their dearly departed, these Ofrendas come to life with loved ones’ favorite dishes, lanterns, sugar skulls and cherished items from their past life. The air is filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread, sweet treats, and the warmth of shared memories. And of course, there’s no shortage of bread, sweets, and even tequila to celebrate the lives and legacies of those who have passed on.
- Date: October 27 to November 4, 2023
- Place: in and all around the Zócalo and surrounding streets
Night of the Axolotl
The Night of the Axolotl, held at the New Axolotl Museum in Parque de las Aguilas, is an exciting celebration of the Day of the Dead. This festive event goes beyond traditional observances, offering a rich tapestry of experiences. Visitors can expect theatrical performances, live music that fills the air with vibrant melodies, a lively costume contest, a diverse sales bazaar, delicious food to satisfy any palate, captivating dance performances, and much more. With two magical nights that extend from 5 p.m. to midnight, it’s an opportunity for families and friends to come together and revel in the spirit of Dia de los Muertos.
- Date: Friday, October 27 and Saturday October 28, 2023. 5pm to midnight.
- Place: Axolotl Museum in Parque de las Aguilas
- Admission: MX$150 (approx US$8.50) for adults and MX$100 (approx US$6) for children
The Grand Day of the Dead Parade
The Grand Day of the Dead Parade is one of the most popular events. This is a newer tradition in Mexico City, inspired by the Dia de los Muertos parade featured in the James Bond movie “Spectre.” It started in 2016 and has become a big part of Dia de los Muertos celebrations. It’s a fascinating parade with colorful floats and performances from different parts of Mexico. The best part is, it’s free to watch! The parade lasts about four hours, but the exact time for this year isn’t known yet. So, if you plan to go, keep an eye out for the schedule and get ready to enjoy the lively Day of the Dead festivities. Check the parade route for 2023 to plan your visit and make the most of this exciting cultural event.
- Date: Saturday, November 4, 2023
- Place: 2023 Day of the Dead Parade Route is here
Recommendations for watching the Day of the Dead Parade in Mexico City
Here are some easy tips for watching the Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City:
- Come at least two hours before the parade begins.
- Try to find a spot near the start of the parade route to avoid waiting too long.
- Plan for a long day. Bring money, snacks, water, and don’t forget sunscreen!
Pan de Muerto and Chocolate Festival in Mexico City
As you step into this delightful festival, you’ll have the chance to savor the traditional Pan de Muerto, a sweet bread synonymous with Dia de los Muertos, paired harmoniously with rich, velvety chocolate. The Pan de Muerto and Chocolate festival offers over 200 varieties of delicious and exclusive bread and chocolates. Some highlights include stuffed pan de muerto like rabbit, custard, and chocolate, as well as flavored pan de muerto such as hibiscus, chocolate, anise, and orange. Traditional and regional pan de muerto options like sugar, sesame, corn husk, pulque, and more are also available. There will also be a wide variety of hot chocolates from Oaxaca and Tabasco including spicy hot chocolate, cold chocolate drinks like horchata de cacao, and solid chocolates including turtles, chocolate-covered marshmallows and chai-flavored chocolate.
- Date: November 3,4 and 5, 2023
- Place: UNAM Palace of Autonomy just off the Zócalo
- Admission: MX$20 (approx $1.50 ) . Get your Pan de Muerto and Chocolate Festival Tickets here.
Xochimilco Day of the Dead Musical Dinner Tour
If you’re looking for something different and unique to do for the Day of the Dead in Mexico City this dinner tour is a great option. The immersive tour in Xochimilco begins with the opportunity to savor authentic Mexican sweets crafted by skilled artisans from Santa Cruz Acalpixca, an indigenous village in Xochimilco. Next, you’ll embark on a pulque tasting, where you’ll explore the myths and realities surrounding this ancient “nectar of the gods.”
The tour also includes a visit to an axolotl sanctuary, providing insights into the preservation efforts of this endangered species. You’ll then wander through a marigold nursery, learning about the symbolic importance of these vibrant flowers in Mexican culture. To top it all off, a memorable live concert aboard a trajinera featuring Elo Vit, dressed as the iconic Catrina, will entertain you with a blend of seasonal tunes and her original compositions.
- Date: October 14,15,21,22,28 and 29. November 1 and 2.
- Place: the Cuemanco docks in Xochimilco
- Admission: adults MX$1,500 (approx US$67 ), children MX$1,200 (approx US$83 )
If you’re looking to experience the Day of the Dead in Mexico and are considering other Mexican cities check out my article about the best things to do for Day of the Dead in Mazatlán, where you can combine Dia de los Muertos events with a beach vacation!
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