Last night, Merida witnessed one of the most unique and interesting events of the yearly calendar; namely the Paseo de las Ánimas, or Passage of the Souls, an annual occurrence coinciding with Hanal Pixan, the Mayan version of the better known Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations.
To accommodate the ever growing number of visitors, this year’s event took place over an extended route, all the way from the General Cemetery to the arch at San Juan.
The procession itself was of course the highlight, with children and young people, wearing traditional Yucatecan dress, and face makeup to appear like sculls.
Visitors also enjoyed guided tours of the cemetery, the regional gastronomy on offer, and the exhibition of the typical Yucatecan altars along the route, set up by families and businesses alike to remember those no longer with us.
Three stages, one at the cemetery, one at La Ermita, and one at Parque San Juan offered a selection of entertainment, including performances by Trio Trova Nova, Las Maya Internacional, Trio Los Juglares, and the ‘Vaqueria de las Ánimas’.
The Paseo de las Ánimas is one of those events that could only occur in Merida, and we hope that those who attended enjoyed it, and those who were not in town will make an effort to be here next year!
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Coming soon: The next big (OK, huge) event on the calendar in Merida is the Feria Yucatan, the state fair, which will commence on Friday November 8, running all the way until Sunday December 1. The fair is one of the largest in the country, and is a major commercial event. It takes place in the fairgrounds at Xmatkuil, to the south of the city, directly down Calle 50. To get there, just follow Calle 50 south, until it ends, turn left, and follow the crowds!
This year, shows will include the ‘Caballeros del Reino’ (a medieval horseback show), an ice skating spectacular, and a dolphin show. The midway area will include all the usual fairground rides, and concerts and performances by local and nationally famous artists will include Espinoza Paz, Banda MS, Alejandra Guzman, and Maria Jose. On 14 different days, the Teatro del Pueblo will feature concerts and other entertainment events entirely free of charge.
A truly unique event, and well worth making the drive for is the Gran Vaqueria, a tradional colonial hacienda style dance and party on Friday November 29, from 7pm. Other attractions include judging of bovines, working dogs, and vast exhibitions on many subjects, as well as food, drinks, and music at every turn. Entrance fee will be $15 pesos per person; car parking will be $30 pesos per car. A bus service will run from centro. Come on down to Xmatkuil! A good time is sure to be had by all. More information can be found on the Feria website: http://www.feriayucatan.gob.mx/2013/