Our 2017 Día de Muertos journey begins in Mexico City, a capital rich with history and culture. Though curiously Day of the Dead was never on CDMX’s list of festivals–until last year. When the James Bond Spectre movie released worldwide in 2015, with an opening scene of a Día de Muertos parade through the Centro Historico, it had everyone clamoring to come the Ciudad de Mexico for the festival…that didn’t exist. A country of ingenuity, Mexico saw this as an invitation to turn fantasy into reality, with a parade that more accurately showcased the meaning of Day of the Dead, while having a fiesta to one-up the film. Last year’s parade was such a success, it’s here to stay. The theme for 2017 is La Muerte Viva and Carnaval de Calaveras with over 1,200 performers, a dozen floats, and fantastical displays marching seven kilometers from the Estrela de Luz, up Avenida Reforma (where we are staying) to the grand Zocolo plaza. Using our Lonely Planet credentials, we went going backstage with the performers then marched in the parade, skeletal makeup and all.
Watch bike-riding skeletons, fire-breathing diablos, Aztec marching bands, and hundreds of twirling Catrinas as we go behind the scenes of the ultimate celebration of life and death.