By / 20th August, 2016 / Activities, Events, Nightlife, places to stay / Off

Halloween and Day of the Dead in Playa del Carmen

Halloween and Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead


Halloween and Day of the Dead are a big deal in Playa Del Carmen!   In Playa Del Carmen it is usually a four or 5 day holiday with Halloween events beginning with a parade on 5th Ave October 29, continuing with parties and costumed trick-or-treaters on October 30th and 31st, and continuing with  Day of the Dead events on November 1st and 2nd.

Day of the Dead dolls

Halloween is typically celebrated the same way in Playa del Carmen as in the US with costumes and parties.   Consider bringing a costume for yourself and joining the fun! Most bars will have costume contests and parties till the wee hours in the morning. The most popular areas are from Juarez Avenue until 34th St. all along 5th Avenue.

One thing that is different from other countries is the happy vs. scary. When you are out on Halloween night in Playa Del Carmen you will notice how HAPPY everyone is! Families, adults, kids, dogs, everyone is smiling and having a good time. It is not really about scaring people compared to other places and perhaps this is a carry over of the Mexican view of celebrating life and not making death a scary thing. At any rate, Halloween is an amazing time in Playa Del Carmen!  Tip: Bring small coins and candy for kids who dress in costumes and travel the street in groups. Children do not really go house to house trick-or-treating here but it is a local custom to bring kids in their costumes to 5th Avenue and walk around and get candy.

For those of you that want to see a lot of costumes and stroll around for free, 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen becomes one big parade of scary and funny creatures from October 29 – November 2.  If you are in Playa Del Carmen during this time of year you should definitely plan to go out these nights.

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead:  Day of the Dead, on the other hand, is an important Mexican Holiday celebrating and honoring loved ones who have passed away. You will also see altars set up in numerous public areas honoring someone who has died and inviting them to return to earth for a visit.  Altars are built for a specific person who has died and will contain items that have reflect the character and personality of the deceased, personal possessions, or items that had special meaning to that person.  The altar invites the deceased back and shows that the family has not forgotten the loved one.  Common items include a picture of the deceased, Day of the Dead symbols like skeletons, orange and yellow flowers, colorful perforated paper and  more.   Day of the Dead followers believe the spirits of the dead will return to earth to visit with their families. It’s a long hard journey from the afterlife back to earth, so traditional Dia de los Muertos altars include nourishment and refreshments for the returning souls, toilet articles to freshen up,

  Day of the Dead altars

History of Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos originated centuries ago in Mexico, and is a festive, joyous holiday for celebrating, remembering and honoring those who have passed. Day of the Dead is Mexico’s most important holiday, which means they invest a lot of time and money into celebrating Dia de los Muertos, moreso than any other holiday.

The Day of the Dead falls on November 1 and 2 of each year, coinciding with the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Most people celebrate Day of the Dead out of love and commitment to their loved ones, but some people celebrate this holiday out of fear! Mexico is rampant with folk tales that tell what happens if someone neglects their ancestors on Dia de los Muertos. If a spirit returns to find that no one has built an altar for them, or that their loved ones only left them paltry offerings, they will feel sad and angry… especially when they see what bounteous offerings other spirits received!

Neglected spirits may seek vengeance on those who have forgotten them. Additionally, many folk tales describe how those who ignore their deceased loved ones fall immediately ill and even meet their death shortly after the holiday!

Book now for Halloween and Day of the Dead and join the festivities!! Stay at any of our 6 properties, all are within a 1-2 block walk to 5th Avenue where everything takes place.  Contact us for rates and availability at El Taj Ocean, Porto Playa, Magia Beachside, El Taj Beach, Maya Villa, or Villas Sacbe.