Día de Muertos here is a big deal. Celebrated from October 31 to November 2, this is a multi day holiday to celebrate and remember family and friends who have passed away. The celebration is actually quite similar to All Soul’s Day in the Philippines in that cementeries are visited and one pretty much hangs out there with food and drinks to remember the dead. Both cultures have so much in common I sometimes feel I’m back in Manila except for the cool weather here and of course everyone speaks Spanish. I visited two places to experience Día de Muertos in México City. The first one was Museo Dolores Olmedo located south of the city in Xochimilco. It’s actually a hacienda converted into a museum that houses the art collection of Mexican businesswoman Dolores Olmedo Patiño. Artworks by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are permanently housed here as well as hundreds of archaeological pieces that showcase Mexico’s ancient cultures. This hacienda has that beautiful colonial design surrounded by lush gardens and is inhabited by the hairless Xoloizcuintle dogs. As you can see from the pictures below, this museum is a Mexican treasure.
Ofrenda, or offering, for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. An ofrenda is where objects are placed on an altar to remember the dead. One can put the favorite food and drinks of those who have passed away to commemorate them and to remind them that they are not forgotten.
Next we went to Coyoacán to visit what was once the private home of El Indio Fernandez, a famous movie director and actor during Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinematography. Called the Monumental Casa de Emilio El Indio Fernández, there were countless ofrendas inside and each one personally decorated to the tastes and interests of the departed. This house is actually still a private residence so certain areas were restricted to visitors.
I really wanted to experience what Día de Muertos was like in Mexico and I’m glad I joined this tour. Two days later we flew out to New York for the marathon – another epic experience to be told some other time 😊.