Día de Muertos

Traditional in Oaxaca City

Oaxaca's Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations are among Mexico's most vibrant, with concerts, exhibitions and other special goings-on starting days beforehand. Homes, cemeteries and some public buildings are decorated with fantastic altares de muertos (altars of the dead); streets and plazas are decked with tapetes de arena (colored sand patterns and sculptures); and comparsas (satirical fancy-dress groups) parade the streets.

Oaxaca’s main cemetery, the Panteón General, 1km east of downtown, is the scene of concerts in the evenings of October 31 and November 1. Many villages, too, stage special events, with some Oaxaca accommodations and agencies arranging visits: the candlelit graveyard vigil through the October 31 to November 1 night in Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, a few kilometers south of the city, is particularly beautiful.