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Día de Muertos – A Mexican Adventure

by Sep 26, 2019Adventures2 comments

Día de Muertos, which translates to Day Of The Dead, is probably Mexico’s most unique and colorful national holiday. Ever since my first trip to South America back in 2017, I have come to realize that national holidays are a great time of the year to go and visit a certain country. What better time to go to Mexico than during the  Día de Muertos festivities? Funny enough, my own birthday is around the same time.

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The Day Of The Dead

Even if you live far away from Mexico and know nothing about Día de Muertos, there’s a good chance that you will have seen the skulls that are typical for this unique event. In fact, you can join Day of the Dead inspired celebrations all around the world. Like in my city, Amsterdam.

Needless to say, nothing beats experiencing the real thing. After hosting several Mexicans in my house in Amsterdam, it seems that it’s going to be even more different than I thought.

Halloween

With Halloween  happening on October 31st and Día de Muertos on November 1 and 2, it’s easy to get confused and think that they are one and the same thing. This is not the case. Halloween and Día de Muertos are two seperate events. Although apparantly Halloween is celebrated in some cities Mexico too, it’s nowhere near as important. 

Celebration Rather Than Mourning

As I researched Día de Muertos, I soon found out that mourning the deceased is not the intention. In fact, it is more of a celebration. Mexican families make altars with pictures and items that their loved ones used to like. That way they are invited to return to the lands of the living, to once again party with the living.

Sounds creepy? 

Not to me. 

Well, maybe when my Mexican Couchsurfer told me that in fact bones of the deceased get taken from the graves, get cleaned up and then actually get fed alcohol and food. How about that?

My 37th Birthday

On November 3rd I will be celebrating my 37th birthday. With Día de Muertos happening on November 1st and 2nd, I quickly started thinking about celebrating my birthday in Mexico with someone dear to me who is unfortunately no longer with me; my mother.

My Mother Mieke – My Biggest Inspiration

My mother Mieke was a strong woman who loved life and stayed positive until the very end. She cared a lot about others, and had surrounded herself with a lot of friends who loved her dearly. Unfortunately she passed away 11 years ago. In my memories and through my actions, she is still very much alive. She truly is my biggest inspiration in life.  

Honoring My Mother On My 37th Birthday

What better way to learn all about Día de Muertos than to take an active role in it myself?  Not only will I learn about Mexican culture and Día de Muertos; I will also be honoring my mother by basically celebrating my 37th birthday with her.

Isn’t that beautiful?

Booking The Flight

With that idea in mind, I started looking at flights not all that long ago. Before I knew it, I found a flight that seemed like a good deal. To fly to Mexico and come back for just over 500 euro’s. It felt right so I thought “why wait?” and booked it straight away. Adventure time! Soon after, I found a Mexican host in the city of Oaxaca who will be hosting me during Día de Muertos.

Although I have been on adventures before during Christmas and New Years, this will be the first time for me to celebrate my birthday in another country. Needless to say, I am very excited for it.

Diving Deep Into Mexican Culture

Needless to say, the purpose of this trip is to take a deep dive into Mexican culture. To do in my own unique way, I am formulating 11 missions to guide me on my adventure. Taking an active day in celebrating the Day of the Dead is just one of these missions. Other missions might be about food. Or about learning about other Mexican places, people and traditions.

If you know a nice mission for me, please be sure to let me know.

It’s almost time to fly to Mexico, but not yet. Before I leave I plan to have a Mexican night in Amsterdam by watching the movie Coco and ordering some ‘Mexican’ food. I’m also in the process of formulating 11 key missions that will guide me through my Mexico adventure. If you have some ideas, be sure to drop a comment to let me know.

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