Scroll Down

October 28, 2021

Beautiful Catrinas and pan de muerto, two icons of The Day of the Dead

November is almost here, and with it, a time where colorful altars are seen all over Mexico to honor the dead, as well as calaveras (Day of the Dead sugar skulls) in their homes or in public places such as restaurants, or even complex and beautiful designs painted in people’s faces turning them into elegant catrinas and catrines.

Altares en Puerto Vallarta

The Catrina, an icon of the Mexican Day of the Dead, can be seen almost everywhere during this celebration, colorful and modern, with lots of cempasuchil flowers (marigold) or colorful bows, dressed in long lace or traditional Mexican dresses. Lots of different designs! She became famous and the icon of this festivity since the 1940s, although she was first drawn in 1910.

Catrin en Puerto Vallarta

And well, we all know a good festivity is usually accompanied by an amazing culinary feast, so during Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico, Day of the Dead bread or pan de muerto is always present. Nowadays, you can find different kinds, but its decoration is the same all over the country: round as a full moon, with a little bump at the top resembling a skull or heart, and its round shape representing the cycle of life and death.

When it’s baked it turns slightly brown and it’s sprinkled with sugar, and decorated with four strips of dough that represent human bones of arms and legs. It is also said that they represent the four cardinal directions. Interesting, right? It is also said that using orange blossom evokes the dead, guided by the aroma of food and flowers, they arrive at the altar where they are remembered.

It is believed that this bread was first made by bakers in the time of the Spanish Conquest in Mexico (1519). Its essence remains the same, and you certainly see it in every Mexican altar, and most Mexicans enjoy during the days they honor their dead (November 1st and 2nd).

This festivity, known as “Mexican Day of the Dead” was recognized by UNESCO as an “Intangible Heritage of Humanity” on November 7th, 2003, and we’re so proud of it as Mexicans!

Here in Puerto Vallarta, we like to celebrate this festivity with joy and life, welcoming our departed ones. When you stroll along the Malecon during this time, you will find giant and glamorous Catrinas in this open-air gallery, along with altars mainly in the area close to the main square, where schools, restaurants, and locals spark their creativity with unique and traditional decorations to welcome their beloved. Altars must include the deceased's favorite foods and usually a picture of them, along with the four elements of nature: water, air, fire, and earth, and it consists of three levels.

Street parties are organized all over town during these days, offering traditional Mexican food such as tamales and pan de muerto of course! Many venues hold special celebrations during this time for both locals and visitors, such as the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, which this year is hosting a Noche de Muertos with the Inauguration of an Art Exhibition. Take a look at our list of events for more related celebrations.

Some people visit their deceased at the cemetery where they were buried. Some visit during the day and others spend the night to accompany them, lighting candles and decorating their grave with cempasuchil flowers. This is done all over the country, and in Puerto Vallarta the local cemetery is filled with joy during this night.

As we mentioned before, this celebration takes place during November 1st and 2nd, but the activities and celebration usually starts at least a week before that. So, if you’ll be in Puerto Vallarta during these dates, make sure to be a part of it. we’re sure you’re going to love it!

Let us know on our social media, have you ever celebrated the Day of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta?

Related Posts

​​Your bachelor/bachelorette party in Puerto Vallarta

​​Your bachelor/bachelorette party in Puerto Vallarta

If you’ve recently said Yes! to your beloved one, and will both be soon sealing your love story, here we share the best tips for an original and our of the ordinary bachelor and bachelorette party in a wonderful place such as Puerto Vallarta, with its stunning natural scenarios, land and water activities, and world-class service. And just because the end of a cycle deserves a celebration, we dare you to take a look at these incredible ideas to plan ... Read more

The exciting adventure of travelling on a cruise ship

The exciting adventure of travelling on a cruise ship

We all love travelling, that’s for sure. Whether it be by air, land, or water, we look forward to visiting new places. And when travelling on a cruise ship, sailing into the vast ocean is something worth experiencing. The trip in itself is always exciting, let alone when you arrive at a port and explore its surroundings, and Puerto Vallarta is a great place for that. A beach destination by the Pacific with lush nature embraced by majestic mountains, with a ... Read more

The three culinary events that place Puerto Vallarta in the eyes of the world

The three culinary events that place Puerto Vallarta in the eyes of the world

Just for you, foodie, that love food at its best, love visiting restaurants, attending events and tastings, sipping new exotic mixology, having reservations for lunch or dinner at the trendiest and most high-end spots, trying new drinks and dishes, these events are made just for you. Read more

Subscribe to receive promotions, events and updates about Puerto Vallarta

Please wait...

Thank you for your registration.

An error occurred...