‘La Calavera Catrina’ Is Getting Her Own Parade For ‘Día De Muertos’ In Mexico City This Year And We Have All The Deets

For many, Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is synonymous with sugar skulls and elaborate ‘Catrina’ face painting. In reality, it’s a two-day festivity that lights up Mexico with colors, flowers, candles and a seemingly omnipresent joy. Every year, on November 1st and 2nd, Mexicans take part in the adored demonstration of love and respect for their deceased relatives. And though the country’s capital is full of cemeteries to celebrate, plazas decorated in beautiful ‘ofrendas’ and lots of ‘pan de muerto’ weeks before the celebration, there’s one special day in CDMX when visitors will get to see a huge group of beautifully decorated Catrinas walk down the street in a parade celebrating life and death. 

You can’t miss Mexico City’s huge ‘Procesion de Catrinas’.

Credit Twitter @yosoytuLSR

In towns and cities throughout Mexico, and the world, Day of the Dead is full of symbolic rituals and heartfelt offerings accompanied by a celebration: elaborate costumes, bustling parades and parties, masterful makeup, and more than a handful of reasons to smile while remembering those loved ones who have left. In honor of one of Mexico’s most endearing celebrations, the capital is throwing a large number of activities and events, from mega ofrendas in the main plazas, to the —fairly recent— Catrina parade.

The Catrina parade has only been running for 6 years.

credit Twitter @timeout

This year marks the 6th year that the parade takes place. On October 26, at 11am, a countless number of people dressed up as ‘Catrinas’ will gather around ‘El Angel de La Independencia’ to walk down all of Reforma —a wide avenue that runs across the heart of the city. 

The city is expecting more than 150 thousand people to participate and there will be nearly 200 professional makeup artists getting everyone looking like the famous ‘Calavera Catrina’

‘La Calavera Catrina’ was originally a cartoon by a political illustrator.

Credit Twitter @Qferacornella

The world-famous decorated skulls dressed up in sombreros, feather boas, and other parafernalia were first ideated by Mexican Cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada Aguilar in the late 1800s. The litographist used skulls, calaveras and bones to convey his political and cultural critiques, he dressed them up in European garb, which was the latest fashion during the ‘Porfiriato’ in Mexico. Posada’s most popular character turned out to be, of course, La Calavera Catrina. 

Famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera further popularized the character in 1947.

Posada’s original Catrina was built upon by artist Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband) when he created a mural that represented over 400 years of Mexican history called Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park, now located in the Museo Mural Diego Rivera in Mexico City. This mural marks the first depiction of La Catrina wearing the ornate clothing and accessories she typically wears today.

Get the ‘Catrina’ look.

Credit Twitter @longevittamx

Since the traditional skull was first portrayed in the late 1800s and later on by Rivera in the mid-1900s, she continues to be an ever-present symbol of Mexican culture’s celebration of Día de los Muertos to this day. The skeleton figure can be found throughout homes and altars with offerings on her behalf. On Nov. 1 and 2, and during the Procesion de las Catrinas this week, many dress up as La Catrina or her male counterpart ‘El Catrin’, in 1800s costume. 

Broad hats decorated with real feathers, long and elegant lace dresses, gloves, top hats and three-piece suits for the men. Others dress up as ‘Adelitas’ or ‘revolucionarios’ like ‘Emiliano Zapata’ or ‘Pancho Villa’. The traditional revolutionary ‘Adelita’ getup was worn by indigenous women who indirectly participated during the war. 

Credit Twitter @AzenetFolch

The look features long skirts, embroidered indigenous ‘huipiles’, Mexican ‘sombreros’ as well as rifles and an ammunition straps slung over one shoulder to represent those who died during the Mexican revolution in 1910.

Everyone is welcome to join in on the parade.

Credit Twitter @festivalmuertos

There is no age limit and no cost. All you have to do is suit up in a Mexican-inspired outfit —forget about showing up in a Halloween costume by the way, this celebration has nothing to do with that. One of the 200 makeup artists on-site can glam you up with facial paint, glitter, and rhinestones. Makeup services cost a minimum of $80 pesos and up to $100. 

The parade is free and starts at 11 am on Reforma spreading down through Avenida Juarez. The procession ends around 6 pm in El Zocalo of Mexico City. 

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