Day of the Dead Oaxaca Mexico
The Day of the Dead ritual  in Oaxaca is one of the city's most important celebrations, rivaling only Easter and Christmas in importance.
On the three day November holiday, family members return to their home village to join in the preparation of the graveyards and tombs for the return of the spirits.
In most villages flowers play an important role in decorating the tombs,
Families also build a home offering table and leave offerings for the spirits that include all the virtues and vices that the departed might have enjoyed in life.
Oaxaca  cemeteries open to visitors on the first two nights of November  (October 31 Nov 1 and 2 ) Thousands of candles illuminate the graves that are decorated with marigold flowers and copal  incense burners.  Families gather and chant the ancient songs.
Each village celebrates at different times and with different intensity but the evenings can be ones of magic as the families wait for the spirits to return.
Flowers and candles make the cemeteries mysterious places during the November vigil for the spirits.
Flowers decorate the home altars and tombs. Marigold is the flower with a special meaning that goes back to pre-Hispanic times. The marigold is called the Fleur de Meurto, the flower of death, and often a trail of marigold petals will point the way for the wandering spirit.  In the evening the family sits by the tomb and light thousands of candles that they hope will guide the returning spirits.
Day of the Dead In the old cemetery of Xoxocotlon, Candles light the night as families sit by the tombs.
In the town of Tlalixtac,  south of Oaxaca City, the families sit by  the decorated tombs while brass bands move through the cemetery
The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca is a celebration at the cemeteries
The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca is an October, November Celebration at the cemeteries
The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca is a festival of waiting for the return of the spirits at the cemeteries
The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca is a festival of waiting for the return of the spirits at the cemeteries
The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca is a festival of honoring the dead at the cemeteries
The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca is a festival of waiting for the return of the spirits at the cemeteries
The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca is a festival of honoring the dead at the cemeteries
Day Of The Dead Oaxaca, Mexico, Last week in October and the first two days of November.
See Schedule of Cemetery Visits below  
Day of the Dead ritual  in Oaxaca is one of the city's most important celebrations,
Oaxaca,  Mexico, Day of the Dead Cemetery Visits
Oaxaca Day of the Dead Schedule of Cemetery Visits
  • October, 31
Xoxocotlan. This town a few miles southwest of Oaxaca City  has two Cemeteries, Cementario Viejo, and the new Cemetery Nuevo. The town will be festive on the night of October 31
October 31, the village of Atzompa holds a later cemetery vigil that starts around 11 pm.

  • Day of the Dead November 1,
Oaxaca City Cemetery, Panteon General on the east side of the city
Tlaixtac de Cabrera, six miles southeast of Oaxaca City

  • November 2
San Felipe del Agua, north of Oaxaca City November 2,
Village of San Antonino Castillo Velasco  A flower growing village that celebrates as much as a week after the other villages.
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Oaxaca becomes a magical place when you visit the cemeteries on the first two nights of November (October 31) and see thousands of candles that illuminate the graves.
Marigold flowers and burning copal incense decorate the graves in an all night vigil.      Oct 31-Nov 2
See
Schedule of Cemetery Visits below, Best times to go
Day Of The Dead Oaxaca, October, November Celebration at the cemetery
Day of the Dead Oaxaca, November Celebration In Oaxaca, Mexico  
  • Day Of The Dead,  Reach the Cemeteries:  
The Day of the Dead Cemetery visit transportation is available from Oaxaca city by bus, taxi, or car.  Cemetery visits occur on October 31, November 1 and Nov. 2nd.  
  • Guided Cemetery Tours
First time visitors are best off with one of the many Oaxaca Tour Agencies such as Borroco Tours located on Garcia Vigil  (street)  They arrange small or large group van and bus tours for visitors to the villages.  They guide you in the cemetery, help you make photos, and provide local information about the event.
  • Self Guided Tour
Otherwise the best option is taxi, collective taxi, or bus to the village.  Arrange for your return or determine the loading place at the village when you arrive.  It could be difficult to find later in the evening.  
Day Of The Dead Oaxaca,
October, November Celebration
Day of the Dead Oaxaca Mexico, Cemetery Visits Transportation
Index to Day of the Dead Pages
Cemetery Visits
The tradition goes back beyond the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico

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