Day of the Dead parade faces the coronavirus challenge. Day of the Dead parade faces the coronavirus challenge.

Mexico City plans virtual Day of the Dead celebration

About 2 million people attended last year's parade in the capital

Mexico City is exploring holding virtual Day of the Dead celebrations in the fall in order to maintain traditions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some two million people attended the Day of the Dead parade last year on November 2, which was also broadcast live, said the director of Mexico City’s tourism promotion fund, Paola Félix Díaz.

Now the city is looking to other large cities around the world for ideas on how to carry on traditional practices safely. Her office is also exploring options such as Day of the Dead drive-in theaters, or tours by car as alternatives to dense crowds in the streets. 

A UNESCO-protected celebration, the Day of the Dead as it is celebrated today has its foundation in the deeply rooted Mesoamerican traditions of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Catholic ritual introduced in the 1600s.

While every region of the country has its own particular way of celebrating the event, the common denominator is the remembrance of a family’s departed loved ones, who are visited at cemeteries and honored by an altar that includes the meals, drinks and vices favored by the deceased.

Mexico City held its first government-sponsored Day of the Dead parade in 2016, inspired by the opening sequences of the James Bond film Spectre, where 007 can be seen chasing a villain through a crowded Day of the Dead celebration. 

Initially, hopes had been to grow the parade to the size of Carnival in Rio, although that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Source: La Jornada (sp)

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