41 Dazzling and Macabre Día de los Muertos Photos from the Streets of Mexico City
Día de los Muertos is a celebration dedicated to the dead that is bursting with life. Between November 1 and 2 every year, it is believed that the veil between the spirit world and physical world is the thinnest. Living relatives of the deceased offer prayers, altars and rituals during this time to encourage their loved ones who have passed on to come back for a short visit. Beautiful ofrendas are constructed at home, in public and on gravesites consisting of food, drink, flowers, religious icons, incense, lights, calaveras (sugar skulls) and other things preferred by the departed. Each item has a deliberate intention meant to honor the individual to which it is dedicated.
Día de los Muertos is a remarkably colorful blend of Mexico’s dynamic history with symbols from Spanish, indigenous, Catholic and contemporary customs illustrating the landscape. No matter where you are or what your background is, this is a time where everyone comes together to pay their respects to the dead and to death itself. More than just a commonly appropriated Halloween costume, La Calavera Cantrina is probably the most recognizable character, depicted as an Mexican upper-class female skeleton by cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada in 1910. She came to symbolize the holiday as a way to laugh at death and to remind us that mortality escapes no one.
Though some of the imagery is macabre, it is ultimately celebration that reminds us of the finite beauty of life. Día de los Muertos can be just as lighthearted as its American counterpart, but its roots run much deeper, lending itself as a powerful time for personal reflection, remembrance and respect for life. Here are 41 images of Día de los Muertos captured by photographer Kristina Bakrevski in Mexico City, including the first annual Día de los Muertos Parade (inspired by a fictional depiction of the parade in the latest James Bond installment Spectre) among other lively scenes throughout CMDX.