The Day of the Dead is actually celebrated in Mexico on November 1 and 2nd. November 1 is to honor children who have passed, while Nov 2 is for adults who have passed. Families will go to cemetaries on these days to visit deceased relatives and eat/drink.
The largest event for Day of the Dead in Mazatlán is the Day of the Dead Parade. It has lots of floats, dancers, and fireworks! For 2023 the parade will be on November 1, 2023!
The Angela Peralta Theatre usually has a Day of the Dead show(tickets required) prior to the parade in the early evening.
For the week or so prior to the Day of the Dead many businesses and houses create altars to one or more of their dead relatives. These are really cool!
Here is the complete 2021 Day of the Dead Parade Video:
The 2023 Day of the Dead Parade in Mazatlán will take place on November 1, 2023 at 8pm (roads close at 5pm).
NOTE: The parade has ALWAYS started late (up to an hour or more) since we have been attending it!
The theme for 2023 is Legends of the Arts (Leyandas del Artes).
The parade in 2023 starts at Plaza Machado in front of Pedro and Lola Restaurant and goes along Constitution then left on Venus, right on Sixto Osuna, then left past the Museum of Art and another left to get to Romalita de la Pena, then left on Belisario Dominguez ending at the Panama a block from the Plaza Machado.
Note: This route is different than the last few years and is back to the pre-Covid route in the Historic Old Town!
Each year, the plaza is decorated based on the theme for Day of the Dead of that year.
All the Restaurants in the Plaza Machado are packed on parade night. We recommend that you get a reservation or arrive early to get a seat outside. It is usually possible to get a seat inside some of these restaurants, but you won't see much of the parade or festivities and it is usually hot inside because it is still very warm at night.
The Angela Peralta theatre has shows and a display prior to the parade each year. You need tickets for to get in. Usually they give out tickets for free a day or two before the parade.
One of the Day of the Dead traditions is for people to set up Day of the Dead altars to pay respects to and remember their dead loved ones.
Many businesses and some homes in Mazatlán will create altars starting in late October into early November. Businesses will usually put up the altar in their front window or lobby, whereas homes will usually put the alter outside next to the front door.
Altars typically will have photos of the loved one, pictures of the families saint, some bread and/or other favorite food of the loved one, and other toys and items related to the loved one.
There are usually altars in the Plaza Machado. The Panama restaurant in the Golden Zone usually has a good altar. Also, the Hotel Costa De Oro usually has an elaborate altar. These are free to view.
Starting in the last week in October, many altars are set up in the and at many houses along the parade route.
Catrinas are the most popular symbol of the Day of the Dead in Mexico.
Typically, it is a skelton of a woman that is elegantly dressed!
Many people (women and men) dress up as Catrinas for the Day of the Dead.
Past Day of the Deads in Mazatlán were celebrated a little differently than currently.
The 2021 Day of the Dead parade took place in a new location and with a new format. It went from Sister Cities Park along the malecon to Olas Altas then to the Plaza Machado. It had more floats because the streets were larger and could accomodate them. People were not allowed to join in the parade until the very end. Also, there were no beer carts giving away free beer!
The 2020 Day of the Dead parade was cancelled due to the Covid Pandemic.
Prior to 2020, the parade started/ended in the Plaza Machado and went through the streets of Historic Old Town. It was really cool and eerie going past 500 year old buildings. It was a people's parade where anybody could mingle in the parade between the dancers and floats. Additionally, there were beer carts giving away free beer from kegs!
For 2019, the theme of Day of the Dead in Mazatlán was "The Catrina and it's Enigmas" (La Catrina y sus Enigmas).
For 2017, the theme of Day of the Dead in Mazatlán was Pedro Infante, the famous actor from Mazatlán. There were many altars for Pedro Infante set up throughout the Plaza Machado. Also, there were numerous stages with dancers in costumes related to Pedro Infante movies set up. They danced for hours! It was fabulous!
On November 1 and 2, many families will travel to the cemetary where their beloved family members are buried. Families will usually food, decorate the graves, and just spend time with their dead loved ones.
Many people do an outstanding job of putting on Day of the Dead makeup to become a Catrina! In addition their faces, people will put makeup on their bodies!
There are a number of places in Mazatlán where you can get your Day of the Dead makeup done professionally. One place that does it is Tippy Toes Salon and Spa, address: 115 Sixto Osuna Olas Altas Centro, Phone: 669-981-3463. Email: email@example.com, appointments required.