If San Miguel de Allende didn’t appear vibrant enough year round, on Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) San Miguel surely unveils a striking layer of dynamic boldness. The city may be colorful during the day, but during the nights of this epic holiday, new faces unveil and unique costumes come out to play. If there is one place during the fall that you’d want to visit, however, there is no better place than San Miguel de Allende during Dia de los Muertos. Keep reading to find out how to spend such a distinct holiday in the beautiful city of San Miguel.
What is Dia de Los Muertos?
Don’t let the fancy costumes and painted faces fool you, this holiday is no version of Halloween. Although it may seem slightly coincidental that both holidays happen at around the same time, they are not related in the slightest. Dia de los Muertos, or El Dia de los Muertos, is a celebration of both life and death. It originated in Mexico over thousands of years ago. A few different groups within the Nahua people felt that mourning the dead was, in fact, disrespectful considering that according to their belief death was believed to be a natural phase in life’s continuum.
According to the Nahua people, the dead were still members of the community even after death and temporarily returned to earth on Dia de los Muertos. Therefore, every year they would celebrate the return of the dead. Today, Mexico commemorates this holiday on All Saints Day and All Souls Day on the Catholic calendar (November 1st and November 2nd).
Bring out the Ofrenda’s
Every holiday has a centerpiece and for Dia de Los Muertos, this centerpiece is the Ofrenda. The Ofrenda is an altar dedicated to the dead. Along with pictures of the dead that the family with the Ofrenda wants to bring back, people also add offerings for the dead. This typically includes things like water, food for the long journey, candles, sugar skulls, and various sentimental pieces. Ofrenda’s are built in private buildings and homes to commemorate the honorable deceased with a path of marigold petals leading to each one all around Mexico city.
Party like it’s the La Calaca Festival or Skull Festival!
San Miguel, as fascinating as it is, hosts a week-long celebration in honor of Dia de los Muertos. In this celebration, people flood the cobblestone streets for parades that run all the way into the wee hours of the morning. There is music, there is dancing, and there are plenty of painted skull faces (some even full-on skeleton bodies!) roaming the streets of San Miguel making for a lively and eventful celebration.
From the Streets to the Cemeteries.
The La Calaca festival provide a means for celebrating on the streets, but there is also a party of its own going on in the cemeteries. People bring candles, loved ones, gifts, and more to their designated decorated grave sites celebrating the return of those they choose to honor. People play music, bring baskets of food for picnicking, and the kids are invited to play as the parents raise a glass for the deceased. There is no other place you will see a grave site so alive than in San Miguel.
Plenty of Pan de Muerto
Just as each holiday has its staple food, so does Dia de Los Muertes. Pan de Muerto or “Bread of the Dead” is a delicious sweet roll that can be spotted in several graveside picnic baskets and ofrendas. Bakery’s all around San Miguel sell the bread hot and fresh, so being near to all of the goodness is crucial if you don’t want to spend hours in line during Dia de Los Muertos. Casa Calderoni is mere minutes away from various cafe’s and bakeries, allowing just enough time for you to have a taste before too much of a traffic rush hits.
Where to Stay in San Miguel during Dia de los Muertos?
Where you choose to stay in San Miguel during such a lively holiday can truly enhance your experience or leave you missing out on its best traits. The choice is yours. For a stellar Dia de los Muerto’s experience, you want to be near all of the lively action and have a comfy and cozy place to lay your head when the party’s over. There is no place more suitable than Casa Calderoni’s Bed and Breakfast. Wake up to a home cooked meal every morning of your stay and be close enough to enjoy watching Dia de los Muertos transform San Miguel into a vibrant night scene celebrating death and life. Ready to enjoy the celebration? Book a reservation with Casa Calderoni today.