The Day of the Dead is observed throughout Latin America on November first and second. It’s a day in which people get together to remember those who have passed away: not just in the past year, but even long before. Many people will build shrines in their homes with photos and keepsakes, and even may cook the favorite meal of the departed!
The best place to see it is Mexico, where they go all-out with special food, drinks, music and day-long parties at the cemeteries, but several other places in Latin America celebrate it and it’s well worth checking out. Here is some Day of the Dead information to get you started!
In Guatemala, there are a couple of places worth checking out. In Todos Santos, in the province of Huehuetenango, the locals celebrate November first by partying and drinking all day and having special horse races through the town as well as ceremonial dances. In Sacatepéquez, the locals construct and fly elaborate, enormous and colorful kites: you’ve never seen anything like it.
In Ecuador, celebrations are a little more low-key as families head to the cemeteries to spend the day with departed loved ones. Be sure to pick up colada morada (a thick, purple, sweet beverage made from fruit and served hot) and guaguas de pan (“bread children:” small, sweet loaves of bread in human shape, occasionally filled with caramel or jam). Delicious!