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The Day of the Dead in Los Cabos

DESTINATION | Published on 11/10/2018
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The beginning of November is the perfect time to escape the oncoming cold of the north and travel south to Cabo San Lucas Mexico for more days of warm sun and fresh air. If you’re visiting from October 31-November 2, you’ll find the city lit up with colorful decorations and a festive air as the people celebrate Day of the Dead in Los Cabos. This exciting Mexican holiday has become famous around the world for its warm traditions and celebration of family.

Day of the Dead in Los Cabos stems from ancient Aztec beliefs and traditions. The Aztecs believed that even though those who died went into the afterlife, their spirits could still return to the earth to guide and comfort the family. To show respect to their ancestors and welcome their spirits and memories to their homes, Aztec families would hold celebrations at the beginning of summer. These Day of the Dead traditions continue to be celebrated in November to align with the Catholic Church’s All Saints’ Day.

Because of the large number of foreigners who visit and make their home in Cabo San Lucas Mexico, Day of the Dead celebrations kick off with Halloween trick-or-treating, even though Halloween isn’t a traditional Mexican holiday. On October 31st, locals and visitors alike dress up in costumes, as witches, superheroes, and animals in celebration of the season. To take part in starting off Day of the Dead in Los Cabos, put on your best costume and head downtown where you’ll find families walking along the streets and children saying “Queremos Halloween,” or “We want Halloween!” If you plan ahead for your Dia de Muertos Cabo vacation, you can bring along a bag of candy to pass out to children as you walk along or sit at one of the downtown open-air restaurants. If you didn’t think to pack a costume or candy, don’t worry. Plenty of stores will be selling supplies for Day of the Dead celebrations.

One of the most classic Day of the Dead traditions is building an altar. These multi-tiered Day of the Dead altars allow families to remember those who have passed away and preserve their heritage. Based on ancient Aztec traditions, the altars are topped with a photo of the deceased family member, and the lower tiers are decorated with the loved one’s favorite things, including food and drinks. Other required elements for Day of the Dead altars are a glass of water to represent life and candles to symbolize faith, and across the altar are strewn bright orange marigold flowers. For Dia de Muertos Cabo holds a competition for building the grandest and most beautiful altars. These altars are displayed in the main square, Plaza Amelia Wilke, during Day of the Dead celebrations. Take a stroll through the plaza to see the best examples of Day of the Dead altars and the grand-prize winner!

In addition to building altars, Day of the Dead traditions include cleaning up cemeteries and decorating the gravesites. As families do these preparations, they share family stories and visit with their neighbors, giving Day of the Dead in Los Cabos a community spirit. Visitors can respectfully visit the Los Cabos or San Jose del Cabo cemetery to see these preparations and get a taste of the local traditions for this Mexican holiday.

At the same time as Dia de Muertos is the kick off of one of the popular nearby weekly events, the San Jose del Cabo Art Walk. Every Thursday from 5-9 from November until June, the neighboring city of San Jose del Cabo shuts down its mainstreet, allowing people to wander between art galleries, viewing new exhibits and meeting artists. With their first week lining up with Day of the Dead, you can be sure to see some special displays and shows featuring traditional Dia de Muertos folk art.

Dia de Muertos Cabo celebrations make visiting the city at this time a lively and cultural experience. Feel a part of the local community and cultural heritage when you come for Day of the Dead festivities in Cabo San Lucas Mexico.

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