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Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead with body art

Mexico's Grande Dame of the Death Procession 2018
English 09/10/2018 14:57 Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English Mexico City Actualizada 17:07
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After getting your make up done, you join the procession

The Calavera Catrina was born in 1912 from the imagination of Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, but that wasn't her name back then - Photo: David Morales/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis

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Mexico's Grande Dame of the Death Procession 2018

Posada published the first illustration of this great dame of death under the name of La Calavera Garbancera as a social criticism of the indigenous Mexican women who rejected their roots and tried to pass as European - Photo: Sofía Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis

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Mexico's Grande Dame of the Death Procession 2018

Mexican painter Diego Rivera painted the full-bodied skeleton lady as the central piece of one of his murals, and called her La Catrina, the feminine version of the Catrin, a bon vivant dandy in Mexican culture - Photo: Sofía Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis

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Mexico's Grande Dame of the Death Procession 2018

In his mural, Diego Rivera featured the Catrina at the center, with a young version of himself on the left, and her creator, José Guadalupe Posada on the right - Photo: Sofía Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis

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Mexico's Grande Dame of the Death Procession 2018

One of the most iconic and celebrated traditions in Mexico is the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated on November 1 and 2.

As in previous years, the Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2018 (2018 Catrinas Mega Procession) will take place on Sunday, October 21 in Mexico City, among flowers, makeup, music, and dance.

The Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2018 is led by Mega Body Paint México and looks to rescue Mexico's ancestral tradition, the Day of the Dead.

The event revolves around the Catrina, Mexico's Grande Dame of Death, who is a symbol of both acceptance and mockery of Death.

At a press conference, the event organizer Jessy Elizabeth Esquivias, also director of Mega Body Paint, thanked the event sponsors, Ayuda en Acción, Silver Plate Jeans Co., Body Art, and Global Language Academy, for their support in the “Catrinas” Procession, adding that Mexico’s leading funeral home Gayosso had joined the initiative for the first time.

Last year, Mexico’s Grand Dame of Death Procession gathered over 30 thousand people at the iconic Reforma Avenue in Mexico City. “This year, we are expecting an attendance of at least 60 thousand,” stated Esquivias, in company of the soon-to-be Secretary of Culture in Mexico City, Alfonso Suárez del Real.

Suárez reaffirmed that the city’s upcoming government, led by MORENA candidate Claudia Sheinbaum, would commit to the promotion of citizen initiatives for cultural projects. Furthermore, he thanked Esquivias and her team for organizing such a far-reaching celebration: “You and your team have managed to rescue a tradition that until recently seemed destined to remain in museums and history books.”

Jose Manuel Aviles de Corralejo, the organizer of the Mega “Catrina” Procession in Japan revealed that a group of Japanese citizens would join the event in Mexico City, eager to participate in the Day of the Dead celebration, which they have learned to love in the past few years.

When announcing the 5th edition of the “Mega Procesión de las Catrinas,” Esquivias talked about a personal experience that gave birth to the project. “Five years ago, my daughter and I went to the supermarket to look for things to put in our Day of the Dead altar, and I couldn’t find anything that was even closely related to our traditional celebration. It was all pumpkins, witches, vampires, and such,” she shared, stressing that she felt the need to vindicate Mexico’s traditions: “Our country has such a rich culture that it feels shameful to copy a celebration that is not representative of our concept of death.”

Furthermore, she explained that in Oaxaca, when someone died, their loved ones made a procession through the village so that the deceased could have a chance of seeing the places he or she frequented one last time before the burial. “So I decided to name it a ‘Procession’ and not a march or a parade.”

This year, about 150 professional makeup artists will be in charge of the characterization of the attendees. Makeup services start at MXN $150.

Schedule:

Makeup will start at 2:00 p.m. at the Ángel de la Independencia, in Paseo de la Reforma while the procession will start at will at Ángel de la Independencia and will circulate through Paseo de la Reforma and up to Mexico City Palace of Fine Arts.

Stay tuned for our coverage, exclusive interviews, and more on Twitter and Facebook!
 

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