These special days are approaching for all Mexicans when our loved ones return from the world of the dead to live with us. Throughout the Mexican Republic, celebrations are held to commemorate these days and the Yucatan is no exception. With over 10 years of tradition in Mérida, Yucatán, they celebrate the dead with the Festival of souls. A celebration surrounded by a halo of festivity and color, which marks the reunion of life with our dead. This year the celebration will last 9 days, from October 24 to November 2. The route of the Ánimas or Hanal Pixán will be on Friday, October 28, from the General Cemetery to the Arco de San Juan.
Hanal Pixán, a motif of tradition and celebration
A tradition that dates back to pre-Hispanic times, where the cultures of Mesoamerica celebrate the lives of their ancestors. A Mayan tradition that honors the souls of those who have left the physical world, Hanal Pixán (“food for the souls”). The Pixán, or “soul”, was considered a gift from the gods, which remained on earth for a time and then traveled to the underworld by snake-like paths.
The celebration of Hanal Pixan lasts 3 days: October 31 is celebrated for children, November 1 for adults and November 2 for all saints. On these dates, it is believed that souls are allowed to return to the world of the living and enjoy the offerings made to them by their loved ones. This offering varies depending on the person being celebrated. However, today it shows how the Mayan tradition has reached a syncretism with the Catholic religion. The staggered altars are the most common nowadays. There are photographs of all deceased relatives, symbols such as a glass of water and salt, as well as traditional foods and foodstuffs. After a few hours, it is believed that the spirit is nourished by the smells of the food, so that the family can also enjoy all these delicacies.
Festival of souls: a trip full of colors and emotions
After two years, the heart of the city of Merida is once again a fusion between the world of the living and the underworld, with the Festival of souls. With a silent route lit only by the light of the candles of each of the participants, who paint their faces in the shape of a skull to represent the souls. The tour begins at the General Cemetery, a mystical place that houses Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance pieces and styles since 1898. During the visit, the smell of incense and copal fills us with a mystical atmosphere, to which are added the many tombs, mausoleums and artistic monuments that line the route.
Exhibition of altars Hanal Pixán
Pendant la procession des âmes, vous pourrez voir différentes offrandes, qui seront également installées le long du chemin. Cependant, le vendredi 28 octobre au matin, l’exposition de l’autel Hanal Pixán sera organisée pour ceux qui veulent profiter de la gastronomie régionale. Pour l’année 2022, il y a un appel à l’exposition d’autels qui seront exposés dans les localités participantes.
Celebration in Yucatán about Festival of souls
During the procession of the souls, you will be able to see different offerings, which will also be installed along the way. However, on Friday morning, October 28, the exhibition of the altar Hanal Pixán will be organized for those who want to enjoy regional gastronomy. For the year 2022, there is a call for the exhibition of altars that will be exposed in the participating localities.
So if you are planning to come to Mexico to see how the Day of the Dead is celebrated, be sure to visit Mérida, Yucatán, where the Festival of Souls brings together the living and the dead in a mega procession. A celebration that reflects how beautiful it is to remember our loved ones who already belong in the afterlife.