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Skeletons parade in the rain Skeletons parade in the rain as onlookers take shelter under umbrellas.

800,000 turn out for Mexico City’s giant Day of the Dead parade

They braved wind, rain and cold to enjoy the two-hour event

Over 800,000 people braved the wind, rain and cold temperatures to attend Mexico City’s giant Day of the Dead parade on Saturday.

For the third weekend in a row, Paseo de la Reforma avenue exploded with color, music and dance, as dozens of floats and processions made their way from the east entrance of Chapultepec Park to the zócalo.

Similar to the previous Saturday’s International Day of the Dead parade, which saw 2.6 million attendees, revelers did not allow the elements to stop them from enjoying the festivities.

Featuring around 3,500 artists divided into 29 groups accompanied by 12 colorful floats, the parade left the Stela of Light monument outside the east gate to the park at 1:00pm.

“The wind and rain will accompany us all day,” said Mexico City Culture Secretary José Alfonso Suárez del Real when the elements began their onslaught against the undaunted spectators.

'Living statues' of clay were a project by students of the National Autonomous University.
‘Living statues’ of clay were a project by students of the National Autonomous University.

He narrated the pageantry to provide information about the displays, presenting every group with a bit of historical information, who the artists were and where they were from.

“You hear, feel and dance [with] group number 16, of the El Volador collective, who recreate for us the Mexico of Salón Calavera, [the 1982 play by Alejandro Aura], when mambo was the most popular music,” said Suárez.

At the head of the parade, a giant representation of the goddess Mictecacíhuatl, guardian of the Aztec underworld Mictlán, marked the parade route with her straightforward stare. She wore a golden dress and a red plumed headpiece and carried a pair of skulls in her hands.

Other renowned Mexican personages to make an appearance were singers José José and Juan Gabriel, the luchadores El Santo and Blue Demon, and the comedic superhero El Chapulín Colorado.

The funeral carriage that took the remains of José José, the “Prince of Song,” to his final resting place in September made up the tail end of the parade, which arrived in the zócalo two hours later.

Mayra Cano, a spectator from México state who attended the event with 11 family members, said it was worth the rain and wind.

dances day of the dead
Many diverse dances were a crowd-pleaser.

“My children, cousins, nieces and nephews are all here, and we all loved it,” she said.

“It was really good. It was worth the trip, lots of diversity, lots of dances, really cool things. The rain was nice, it didn’t stop us from having a good time.”

Source: El Universal (sp)

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