Day of the Dead Festivities and More in Ixtapa, Mexico
A Bucket List Adventure
Powered by Mom was able to send our newest team member Jaime to experience beautiful Ixtapa, Mexico and Day of the Dead festivities. Find out more about her adventures and you can read more about Jaime on our About Us Page.
Jaime’s Day of the Dead Adventure
I was given the amazing opportunity to travel to Ixtapa, Mexico to experience the best that the area has to offer. What makes the resort city of Ixtapa so amazing is the proximity that it has to Zihuatenejo, a fishing village. When staying in Ixtapa you have the best of both worlds. You get the resort community, but you also have access to Zihuatenejo within a 5 minute drive allowing you to delve into Mexican culture.
Day of the Dead (Dia los Muertos)
In Canadian and American society death is an occasion for mourning and brings with it a deep feeling of loss yet not all cultures around the world view death in the same way. In Latin America the Dia los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated November 1st and 2nd and gives outsiders a glimpse into the ways that Mexican culture views and copes with the death of a loved one. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to participate in the Day of the Dead celebration in Ixtapa on November 1. A huge thank you to Vanessa and the Mexico Tourism Board for making this day to happen.
The day of the dead celebration has its roots in traditional Aztec culture, and features altares being constructed to honour your loved ones who have passed on. The truly fascinating aspect to the day of the dead celebrations is the focus on enjoying the day, with the understanding that your loved ones would not want you to be sad about their death. The dia de los muertos is a day to celebrate your loved ones, and a day that the dead are said to come back to celebrate with you.
Altares are breathtakingly beautiful dedications to loved ones that feature pictures of the dearly beloved, as well as a collection of their favorite foods and beverages as an offering. Bright colours abound, and the patron saint Katrina is found everywhere. Included in the day of the dead celebrations are special foods that are eaten only on the day of the dead many of which can be found on altares around town, and a Katrina parade featuring brightly dressed women and men with their faces painted like skeletons paying homage to Katrina.
La Katrina Mezcaleria
Our afternoon started off at the Katrina Mezcaleria for a delicious lunch after a walk through the Cinco de Mayo Market. The food was absolutely divine. I have to confess that living in Canada our idea of fine Mexican dining is grabbing a box of Old el Paso from the super market, or a trip through the drive thru at Taco Time. Let me tell you this. We Canadians are definitely missing out! True Mexican food doesn’t come from a box, nor can it be purchased at a fast food restaurant on the run.
One of the food items that we had the opportunity to sample at La Katrina was the delicious Day of the Dead bread (Pan de muertos). The Bread of the Dead is a sweet bread, often adorned with depictions of body parts. A coating of sugar tops the bread, and when served with a cup of coffee makes for an amazing treat.
While at La Katrina Mezcaleria be sure to try out one of their signature cocktails made with their very own Mezcal.
Sabores y Colores
While not quite a year old Sabores y Colores is definitely a place that you will want to visit while in Zihuatanejo. We were fortunate to have a cooking demo while there featuring a delicious pumpkin dish only served on the Day of the Dead. Calabaza En Tacha (Candied Pumpkin) is a delicious blend of pumpkin simmered in solid molasses, cinnamon and orange zest. The result is the most flavourful, melt in your mouth pumpkin dish imaginable. When you visit Sabores y Colores make sure you say hello to head chef Antonio!
After our delicious treat at Sabores y Colores it was time to head down to the festival at the waterfront featuring live entertainment, street vendors and altares set up throughout the area. The environment is festive, yet respectful. You can catch glimpses of those participating in the Katrina parade getting ready, and the entire parade itself is about an hour and a half long, though you can catch the parade at any point of its route
One of the highlights for me while down at the plaza was the gigantic sand sculpture depicting skulls and commemorating the Dia De Muertos in Zihuatanejo.
The Day of the Dead Celebration in Zihuatenejo is a wonderful experience, and is definitely a bucket list trip. Mexico in October and November is warm enough to be welcoming (unlike being back home in Canada where some areas have already seen the first dusting of snow) but not so hot that you feel like you’re melting. Given the chance I would definitely head back to Ixtapa for Day of the Dead Celebrations in the future!
Be sure to check back for my review of Club Med Ixtapa!
46 thoughts on “Day of the Dead in Ixtapa, Mexico”
Oh my! I would love, love, love to go to a Day of the Dead event in Mexico. They have them locally, but not on the grand scale like in Mexico.
I very much want to travel down there for this one day. Thanks for the great pictures and the great article.
I have always wanted to be in Mexico on the Day of the Dead.
Bread of the dead! What a fabulous name. I hope to try some.
I have always been intrigued with the DAy of the Dead. It is interesting along with the foods.
I’ve always wanted to attend the Day of the Dead festival. I love the tradition of celebrating those who died and the folklore that the day has. The colors and costumes are always amazing!
The resort sounds nice. I also like the photo.
I wish I could experience this celebration, I like different cultures .
A great review, thanks so much for sharing. I’ve always loved seeing sand sculptures, it’s amazing what they can build and depict.
I’ve always been fascinated by Day of the Dead. Thank you for such an informative post and for sharing such beautiful photos!
I’ve always wanted to see this celebration in person,it looks awesome.
These pictures are stunning. I’ve never had a chance to visit here, but it’s definitely on my list now!
I have read about this before . I would like to go there. The colors of everything is so bright. I enjoy learning about other cultures.
Love the pictures
How interesting is this. It looks like such a cultural experience. I would love to go someday!
That sand sculpture is so wicked cool, I absolutely love it! I really appreciate the idea of the Day of the Dead. Of course we incorporate death with grief, pain and sadness. It’s nice to think of a positive way to deal with the loss as in the celebration of the life of those we loved and lost. Thanks a lot for educating me on this! 🙂
This is pretty interesting , who would of thought that people actually celebrate the dead. I guess if it helps them to believe that there loved ones are still among them, why not.
I think they have the right idea, celebrate life, and remember our loved ones. We all have to die, so we should be happy that we lived, and were loved while we were here. I think the whole thing looks like a lot of fun… maybe a little halloweeny and spooky, but fun nonetheless. I like the pictures you took…so colorful..
I love learning about differnet cultures. Sounds like your had fun.
Oh how I would love to try those foods.I am into real spicy though!It is a celebration that has fascinated me since I was a small child!
Wow, that sand sculpture is out of this world! Thanks for the great piccies!
this looks like a lot of fun i would love to see all of these and experience this great culture
We should celebrate this day in the US. Maybe it would make more people realize what death does to a family and how we can all come together.
We are huge fans of Mexican folk art and Dia De Los Muertos, and although we have visited Mexico numerous times, we have never been there to witness these festivities. It looks like I will have to add a trip during this time to my bucket list!
Ixtapa is on my bucket list, thanks for the info!
One of my best friends is Cuban, and they also celebrate Day of the Dead! I had no idea about any of this, just a few years ago! She has taught me soooo much about the Hispanic culture! I’ve got some really great recipes from her, and I love her & her family so much! We love going to Mexico too… the food, people, the beaches, culture… everything is amazing! But, this past summer I took my annual trip to San Antonio to visit my BFF. They have an amazing Farmer’s Market there, with tons of Day of the Dead items! VERY cool place! Thanks for this review!
We were in Mexico about 10 yrs ago and I have always dreamed of going back!! I so love the culture, food and people!! It is also on my bucket list to return someday 🙂
Thanks for the Fantastic Review on Day of the Dead Festivities and More in Ixtapa, Mexico! It was so nice to be able to visit during the Day of the Dead Festivities! It sounds like you had a terrific time! It also sounds like you really enjoyed the food which was available too! The “sugared bread” and the “pumpkin dish” sound really good! It’s funny how different cultures deal with the loss of a loved one. To be able to celebrate their life and the love that you had for them is a wonderful thing! Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic review, all the wonderful pictures, and your personal and professional opinions on Day of the Dead Festivities and More in Ixtapa, Mexico with all of us! I honestly do appreciate it! Thanks again! Michele 🙂
I would love to see this. Did you see the Day of the Dead sequence in the James Bond Spectre movie?
That sounds like a fun vacation. I’ve never been. I’m always interested in other cultures, how they live…
FUN, FUN, FUN, I hope to get to go experience this very soon.
Nice! Seen a documentary on this once, would definitely love to see with my own eyes one day!
I have always wanted to go to this. I bet it would be a real experience!
You are so lucky to get to go. I see things like this ad wish one day to see it. The colors are beautiful . I dont particularly understand this holiday but it is interesting.
I would love to see the Day of the Dead festivities! It’s like someone decided to dress up for Halloween during Mardi Gras, lol. It looks like big fun to me.
I have heard of Day of the Dead before. I love that its celebrates love ones who have past. Remembering past love ones is amazing.
This is a festival that I would love to attend.Always been interested in the after life!
Thank you for this I love to learn about different cultures and traditions from people who have actually been there and not just a television crew that steps on everyone and everything. Would love to try that Calabaza En Tacha. Even though I don’t really like pumpkin, that sounds and looks amazing!
Always here about this.Never seen real photos of it.The TV portrayal is kind of odd.I think it would be great to visit there at that time!
I have heard of El Dia de Los Muertos but I have never tried any of the wonderful food that is prepared for the celebration. I would love to try the Pan de Muertos and the Calabaza En Tacha (Candied Pumpkin) sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing this post.
How fun!! You really went during an amazing time!! What an experience!! I love that they celebrate those who have passed!! Its really just beautiful!!
This sounds like a great trip. I have a friend from Nigeria and they celebrate death also. I really think this is what our loved ones and God would have us do. Thank you for sharing this interesting article
Our school’s Spanish class celebrates this each year. It is a wonderful way to teach students about different cultures.
Very interesting….everything about the Aztec culture is!
Sounds like you had a great time. This is the first time I have heard of this and would love to go to just to try out the food. It sounds so good. The sand sculpture was pretty neat too.
What an amazing celebration. I would suppose to the uninitiated it might seem strange, but so would our Halloween. So many outstanding photos, I feel like I went myself!
That’s interesting how different cultures deal with things. I guess that’s positive to celebrate the life of those that have passed. The skeleton with a wig kinds freaked me out though.