On November 1st and November 2nd, two of the most important festivities are celebrated in Mexico, which is Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead. This annual event in Puerto Vallarta usually involves festivals around town with beautiful shrines and altars displayed along the iconic Malecon boardwalk.

Festivities often include mariachi performances, folkloric ballets, Catrinas, contests, and so much more. If you live in the area or plan to visit soon, continue to read below to learn more about this emblematic holiday in Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

Day of the Dead

One of the biggest events in Puerto Vallarta and throughout Mexico is the Day of the Dead celebration. The origins of this holiday date back to the 1300’s when the Aztecs celebrated Mictecacihuatl, or the Lady of the Dead. Centuries later when the Spanish conquistadors came to Mexico during the 1500’s, they introduced Catholicism and All-Saints Day (Christian Holiday) which was celebrated on November 1st. Later the Day of the Dead was moved to November 2nd to coincide with Catholic holiday.

Today, Dia de Muertos is an important holiday that allows family and friends to honor those who have passed on by making beautiful altars in their memory. Likewise, family and friends will gather in cemeteries to spend the night with their loved ones that have passed away, and they will honor them with their favorite foods, music, and drinks.


How day of the dead is celebrated

If you aren’t familiar with this unique holiday, the belief is that the human soul doesn’t die, but continues to live on forever in another world. Day of the dead believes that when you pass away, your soul will leave this world and travel to the afterlife. However, on November 2nd our ancestors’ souls can come to visit the world of the living for a day. As a result, it is very important to have an altar in place to honor your loved one.

Similarly, November 1st is also known as “Dia de Inocentes” or Day of the Innocents that honors children or infants who have passed away, and November 2nd is day of the dead or “Dia de Difuntos” when older adults are celebrated that are no longer with us.

Altar Facts

The intent of building an altar is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the words of the living directed to them.

  • The day of the dead altar must have the favorite foods and drinks of the deceased person, and it should also include the four elements of nature which are water, wind, fire, and earth.
  • The altar must contain pictures of the person who has passed along with flowers.
  • The most common flower used is the marigold flower because it is yellow orange in color which represents life, sun, and hope.
  • Also, bread of the dead or “Pan de Muertos” is frequently prepared or consumed by families during this time as well. This baked good is similar to a sweet roll, and the bread can be made to look like an angel, animals, or a skeleton.

As you can see, the Day of the Dead is one of the largest annual traditional events in Mexico. If you are visiting Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit you can enjoy these celebration. Every November, on the boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta you can find altars in memory of the deceased, catrinas (of all sizes), marigold flowers, bread of the dead and much more.


Find inspiration with this mexican chocolate recipe for your Day of the Dead celebration


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