Mexico City’s Great Day of the Dead parade to go virtual
Day of the Dead is one of the most popular traditions in Mexico.
On November 1 and 2, Mexicans set up altars, dress up as skeletons, and host parties to celebrate the annual visit of their loved ones who have passed away.
Each region has different ways to celebrate Day of the Dead: from the most traditional to the most modern, but without losing the essence of this heritage.
In 2003, Mexico’s Day of the Dead was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, who said this celebration “holds great significance in the life of Mexico’s indigenous communities. The fusion of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Catholic feasts brings together two universes, one marked by indigenous belief systems, the other by worldviews introduced by the Europeans in the sixteenth century.”
Day of the Dead is highly popular among locals and tourists, who usually join a series of events to celebrate this Mexican tradition with makeup, costumes, food, and music.
Last year, Mexico City’s government held a series of events in the framework of Day of the Dead that included an immersive light tour at Chapultepec Park, the installation of a monumental altar at Mexico City’s main square, the popular altars organized by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a festival of Day of the Dead Altars and Flowers in downtown Mexico City, and of course the Great Day of the Dead Parade.
The Great Day of the Dead Parade in Mexico City is one of the most expected events of the season that aims to remember our loved ones who have passed away and celebrate life in a joyful way. It includes floats, troupes, and music bands.
However, 2020 has brought particular circumstances that have forced authorities to rethink the way to celebrate this important tradition.
Due to the health emergency caused by COVID-19, Mexico City’s Mix Fund for Tourism Promotion (FMPT) will hold the traditional Day of the Dead parade online as well as a homage in which people will be able to participate to remember their beloved ones who died because of the new coronavirus.
In a promotional video, the FMPT, directed by Paola Félix, says that in order to comply with health protocols and prevent contagions, they have planned to hold the traditional parade behind closed doors in a stadium, such as the one of Ciudad Universitaria, or a recording studio.
“2020 has been a complicated year for everyone in economic, work, and family matters; many of us have lost dear ones (so) it’s important to remember them and bid them farewell with all the love and respect they deserve. Mexico has the ideal tradition to send this message, Day of the Dead. We propose to reinvent Day of the Dead and out parade by going virtual,” says the video,
There will be an app called “Xóchitl, Mexico’s virtual ambassador for the world” that will work as an interactive digital platform with augmented reality that includes multimedia content related to Mexican traditions, culture, and entertainment.
“The platform will give access to virtual events, live streaming for the promotion of our beautiful Mexico City in a safe way without putting anyone at risk. For the closed doors, we want to hold a parade inside a stadium or a recording studio, without public, and with COVID-19 protocols,” and added it will be broadcast in all its platforms.
The FMPT invited Mexicans to perform a candle ceremony on November 1 at 20:00 as a flashmob to bring everyone together from their balconies and windows with a candle to remember their loved ones and be united in these hard times.
“It’s been a hard year, but Mexico wants to say that our tradition is also for the rest of the countries; a light for those who left us and Mexico’s support for those who stayed,” says the promotional video.