Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The entire state of Quintana Roo continues to celebrate Hanal Pixan, the Mayan equivalent of Day of the Dead. Costume parades and food vendors line streets in celebration of Día de Muertos.
In every municipality, costumes were the main theme of the three day event which starts the night of October 31 and runs until the night of November 2.
In Cancun, catrinas and catrines (female and male catrina skulls) disembarked at the Puerto Juárez dock where they began the 2023 Hanal Pixan celebrations to honor the deceased.
The smell of copal incense, marigold flowers, altars and offerings are icons of the Day of the Dead festival. Traditional foods offered during the celebration include mucbipollo, tamales, champurrado, chocolate and bread of the dead (pan de muerto).
“Today we welcome the catrinas who come from the sea to celebrate the cycle of life and the return of the souls to their home. Welcome to the catrinas who guard us in this Hanal Pixan, who come for food for the soul and come to pay tribute to the spirits of our ancestors, of our loved ones who, although we do not see them, walk by our side,” said Governor Mara Lezama.
“Therefore, on this night of Hanal Pixan when we celebrate the eternal joy and transcendence of life to remember our deceased, our hearts are filled with emotion, love and the firm belief in eternal life. This is Hanal Pixan here in Cancun, this is the place where traditions unite us.”
Many parade participants dressed in catrina skulls of all sizes, while other municipalities held Mayan ceremonies to honor the souls of those who have died and who return to the land of the living to be with their families.
In the Mayan language Hanal Pixan translates as food for the souls.