All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Oaxaca's Day of the Dead
All Saints Day, Day of the Dead Celebration in Oaxaca
All Saints Day or the Day of the Dead Festival is a three day November holiday when families prepare the tombs for the return of the spirits.  During this time flowers play an important role in decorating the tombs and home altars. Families leave offerings for the spirits in the home and at the cemetery.
During All Saints Day, flowers and candles make the cemeteries mysterious places during the October, November vigil for the spirits.  The pdeople of the villages welcome visitor who come to admire the decorations.
In the Etla Valley north of Oaxaca City, villagers stage a play in which they visit houses and on this one night, possessed by the spirits,  they can insult even the highest officials.
Competition for the best offering (ofrenda) or sand painting attracts visitors to Oaxaca's village of XoXo.
Competition for the best altar at Oaxaca's,Main cemetery.
All Saints Day and All Souls Day, Oaxaca

The Day of the Dead in Oaxaca combines ancient festival with Christian feast days and is something special.  The Spanish Colonial era monks converted the indigenous people to Christianity and combined the ancient ritual of visiting the graves with the Christian All Saints Day and All Souls Day

The ceremony takes place now on the 31 st of October, traditional All Saints Day, and runs for three days.

The cemeteries blaze with thousands of candles as the people of the village sit by the gravestones in a night vigil.
The scent of copal incense and the perfume of marigold flowers fills the air.
The Day of the Dead is one of Oaxaca City's most important festivals. An ancient ritual now combined with All Souls and All Saints day of the Christian tradition.
The people of the city celebrate with musical concerts,  gallery openings, art museum exhibits, parades, and sand paintings and decorated altars in the pedestrian-only streets.  Oaxaca's hotels, restaurants and shops decorate their entryways in a friendly competition  and restaurants feature the regional cuisine of Oaxaca.
Where is Oaxaca and how do you get there:
Oaxaca All Saints Day , 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 Cementario Nuevo.
October 31, the village of Atzompa holds a later cemetery vigil starting 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 south east of Oaxaca City

San Felipe del Agua, north of Oaxaca City November 2,
Village of San Antonino Castillo Velasco  A flower growing village that celebrates a week after the others
All Saints Day is a Christian tradition the has been merged with the indigenous Mexican tradition of honoring the spirits with a graveside vigil. The Day of the Dead is Oaxaca's three day, All Saints Day and All Souls Day celebration.
Day of the Dead Oaxaca Mexico
  • All Saints Day, Day Of The Dead,  Cemetery visits Transportation    Oct. 31-Nov 2
The Cemetery visit transportation for All Saints Day and All Souls Day is available from Oaxaca city by bus, taxi, or auto.  
Cemetery visits occur on October 31, November 1 and Nov. 2nd within a few miles of the city.  
  • 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
Visitors can also reach the cemeteries by taxi, collective taxi, or bus.   Arrange for your return with the driver or determine the loading place for the taxis and collective taxis at the village when you arrive.  It could be difficult to find later in the evening.  Bus service will end around ten pm for some locations.  
All Saints Day is October 31.  Reach Cemeteries near Oaxaca City for the night vigil.
All Saints Day, All Souls Day Oaxaca, Xoxocotlan
All Saints Day, All Souls Day
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