Day of the Dead, Mexico

If there is a typical holiday in Mexican culture, it is the Day of the Dead that extends south of the United States with the Mexican community. It’s a party that runs from October 31st to November 2nd, with traditions; known especially for the realization of private altars dedicated to the dead with offerings (flowers, food, candles, photos, items that belonged to the dead, etc.). From October 31st to November 1st, the day is dedicated to the dead children (angelitos = little angels), serving a sweet snack and the next day, the All Saints’ Day is dedicated to the breakfast for the ‘angelitos’ and then the rest of the day is dedicated to the deceased adults and they add other offerings in the altars. People visit the cemetery on November 2nd. Altars are erected in homes, workplaces, hotels, etc. There are also contests where they choose the most beautiful altar, the public can enter, vote and enjoy the traditional food they have prepared to share and depending on the region, you can also find native people with their own tradition. The altar has several levels that represent the different moments traversed by the soul of the dead, usually the photo of the deceased occupies the upper place of the altar. In decorations, we find small skulls made of sugar, chocolate or plastic with the name or initials of the deceased. All this decoration and offerings serve to show the deceased that he is loved and that he has not been forgotten. Usually, there is also a cross in the altar. There are garlands made with colorful paper or plastic, with cuts that show skulls, skeletons or simply geometric figures. Among the food, which must not be missed, is the dead bread that is made and eaten right in this very celebration as sweets or very sweet decorations to eat.


Tips

If you visit Mexico at this time of the year, enjoy this experience, you will not regret it. The hotels make their decorations, events and even all depending on the hotel (usually big chains), parties where you can even disguise yourself.

If you have the opportunity to see a real celebration in town, do not hesitate, it’s worth it. The Mexicans are very kind and will invite you to enjoy their specialties of the Day of the Dead even they will be delighted to join you in this event by telling you a little about the history of this tradition.

If you prefer to stay at the hotel, the various TV stations play the best-known horror films.

 

Lemon festival, Menton, Côte d’Azur, France

The Lemon Festival is a traditional festive event organized by the tourist office, which takes place every year at the end of winter in the city of Menton. City known to be a major European producer of lemon since the mid-fifteenth century. It was still the largest producer of lemon on the continent when in 1928, a hotelier had the idea to organize a private exhibition of citrus and flowers in the gardens of the Riviera hotel with such success that the following year, the municipality adopted it. This festival is interspersed with carnival, carts of shrubs with oranges and lemons parade with the charming women of the city. In 1934, the theme of the carnival was citrus fruit, and so the term “Lemon Festival” was born. Citrus fruits are set in structured wire garlands. More than a hundred people are involved in the preparation for two weeks. At the end of the event, the fruits, of which 90% are in good condition, are sold at low prices. The only years the event did not occur were during the wars. The parade of citrus floats is mixed with confetti, fanfares, dancers and folk groups on the Promenade du Soleil. Each year, a different theme is chosen. It is considered the second most important event of the Côte d’Azur after the carnival of Nice.

Tips

It is advisable to make the reservation for your stay sufficiently in advance.

The whole city is in celebration and if you want to enjoy it, there are restaurants and bars on the Promenade du Soleil, where you can book your seat and enjoy the parade while drinking something.

You can see the parades of groups and other street performers who will parade around the citrus cars.

Do not miss the evening because with the lights, you will be doubly surprised.
 

 

Carnival of Guadeloupe, West Indies

One of the most important festivals in the West Indies is the carnival of Guadeloupe which takes place for about two weeks and can go up to 4 weeks; but the most important days go from Fat Sunday to the day after Fat Tuesday, or Ash Wednesday. With European origins, this festival has taken place more and more in the West Indian culture and has settled. During this period, there are several events that take place like singing and dancing competitions, costume parades and of course the election of the queen. The most important events take place in Basse-Terre where the public accompanies the musicians, dancers and participants costumed through the streets of the city with the rhythm of the drums. The iconic Carnival character, King Vaval (abreviation of Carnival in Creole), is cremated on Ash Wednesday, ending the festivity and the crowd dresses in black and white for the occasion.

Tips

If you visit Basse-Terre during a ship stop before the carnival, you can usually see some participants who practice for carnival parade during the day in the city center (especially on weekends). This is a good opportunity to know a little about this festivity.

Two or three weeks before the big festivity, you can also attend group parades on Sunday from 17:00.