Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos celebrations return to Mexico but not at pre-pandemic levels.

Mexico celebrated the Day of the Dead or “Día de los Muertos” parade on 31 October. The festivities celebrate the return of deceased loved ones to celebrate with their families. The celebration also mixes Mexico’s indigenous roots with its majority Catholic beliefs.

This year’s parade in Mexico City was delivered by a team of over 1,000 people spread over one kilometre, including 150 musicians, 450 volunteers, 350 dancers and 130 production assistants. This year’s parade paid tribute to those who died during the pandemic and, at the same time, it aims to include vulnerable groups including handicapped people, single mothers and LGBTTTIQ+ representatives.

A senior government official for Mexico City explained, “Día de los Muertos is one of the most popular festivals in Mexico. There are a series of events throughout the country that bring together not only locals but also tourists from all over the world. Pátzcuaro and Mixquic are usually the best known but each town has its own way of waiting for its dead.”

“Día de los Muertos is one of the most popular festivals in Mexico. There are a series of events throughout the country that bring together not only locals but also tourists from all over the world.”

Senior government official, Mexico City

Mexico City registered hotel occupation of 85% for the week of festivities starting on 25 October to 3 November and festivities are expected to generate MXN 4.21 billion (USD 204 million), a 64.3% increase from 2020. The sectors which will benefit the most from the celebrations are the food, clothing, decoration, transportation, retail and culture industries. Furthermore, the Mexico City government aimed to extend celebrations to the whole of the city as they are usually focused in specific areas such as Chapultepec, Polanco, Coyoacán, Xochimilco and Centro Histórico to reactivate the economy of less touristic regions in the city.

“Economically speaking, it is a season that all kinds of shops, restaurants, florists and tourist shops are waiting for,” continued the government official, “this year, to better capitalise on the festival, the government authorised a ‘mega-bridge’ – a holiday extended by the weekend. This allowed more time for tourists to move around and resulted in thousands of people coming into and out of Mexico City. It has undoubtedly helped economically but we are not back to pre-pandemic levels yet.”

“We have to remember that the economic capacity of citizens has not yet recovered, so it is essential to continue assisting the reactivation of the economy.”

Senior government official, Mexico City

The main challenge for the parade of El Día de los Muertos is to reach pre-pandemic levels, as this year’s festivities were still some 25% smaller than that of 2019. The Mexico City official concluded, “We have to remember that the economic capacity of citizens has not yet recovered, so it is essential to continue assisting the reactivation of the economy. Celebrations like this are good activation engines, helping small businesses and trade.”

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