The Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead is a very important date for all Mexicans worldwide. Recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2008, it has become one of the most emblematic celebrations in our country and therefore one of the most anticipated. But like many other holidays, this year may be something different due to the coronavirus and health measures. The new normal has led to events and festivities to adapt and change.
As expected due to the pandemic, many panteones will not be open to celebrate this day. In Mexico, the government decided to leave that decision to each state because not all are going through the same situation. Those who decided to open the pantheons had to deliver a plan explaining the measures they would take to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 during this celebration. But states such as: Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, Aguascalientes, State of Mexico, Oaxaca, Baja California Sur, Michoacán, Jalisco and Coahuila as well as Mexico City, have already decided to cancel the celebrations in person, many opting for the virtual method.
But not being able to attend various events in person does not mean that you cannot enjoy them. Several organizers in Mexico as well as in the United States have decided to offer these events virtually through various platforms. From fashion shows to exhibitions, everything will be at your fingertips without having to leave home.
Many venues that often hold parades to celebrate this day will still wear them over but they will be streamed online. One of these parades will be the International Day of the Dead Parade. Being one of the most popular parades, to the point of attracting more than 2 million spectators, it was in danger of being canceled due to the pandemic. Fortunately, the Mixed Fund for Tourism Promotion and the show producer Vuela Corp proposed to carry it out virtually. It is planned to launch an application called “Xóchitl”, through which the public will be able to interact with the contents related to the Mexican Day of the Dead traditions. To stay up-to-date with more news about the Vuela Corp broadcast asks the public to visit their social networks through which they will be informed about the event.
Another way to celebrate is by entering the world of DIY, learning to make altars, confetti, flowers and more. This is why YouTube pages like Self Help Graphicis , who are based in Los Angeles, will be offering art classes through this platform. The executive director of this organization, Betty Avila, says that through these classes they seek not only to honor our loved ones but also to publicize the work of local artists and unify different cultures in mostly Mexican traditions.
3. EXHIBITIONS AND VISITS TO PANTHEONS
This year Google Arts and Culture decided to dedicate a whole space to the Day of the Dead. Through its page and app you will find content such as: 500 pieces, 20 online exhibits, 11 virtual tours of cemeteries and museums and two VR experiences in museums and one in the classroom so that teachers can give it a pedagogical use. Google’s Marketing Director in Mexico Miguel Angel Alva said the following, “We had to open a window from Mexico to the world, make our art known in different countries. The Day of the Dead is such a heartfelt tradition that from childhood we see how altars are built, we see the cempasúchitl flowers invade the streets. “
It is obvious that it is sad not to be able to visit our deceased, especially now that so many people have lost someone due to Covid-19. But perhaps keeping our traditions in mind will help ease the sadness of not being able to share that day in person.