Catrina is world's biggest. The 20-meter-high catrina.

World’s biggest catrina on display in Jalisco

Zapotlanejo also boasts Mexico's biggest Day of the Dead altar

The world’s largest catrina, the female skeleton that has become symbolic with the Day of the Dead, continues to attract thousands of people to a city in Jalisco that is also home to Mexico’s largest altar.

Zapotlanejo, located in the central region of the state, is expecting to receive over 100,000 visitors eager to see the 20-meter-high catrina and the biggest Altar of the Dead, itself 10 meters high.

The city had created the country’s largest altar, at 4,000 square meter, in 2009 and 2010, but the tradition was lost for a few years.

Now it has been renewed by Mayor Héctor Álvarez Contreras, who laments that in “some places Mexican traditions are losing strength. We are vying to keep them, [but it is] an issue that should be addressed at the national level.”

True to another Mexican tradition, a passion for beating Guinness records, the mayor’s catrina won a Guinness World Record for the tallest ever at its presentation last year. No record is being broken this year except, perhaps, in terms of the number of visitors it brings in.

During the three days it was displayed last year the catrina welcomed over 50,000 visitors. This year, the monumental Catrina-Altar ensemble will be on display for nine days, during which period the city expects to double last year’s visitor numbers.

Creating the seven-level, “traditionally pre-Hispanic” altar required 5,000 bricks, 2,000 votive candles, 400 oranges, 150 loaves of bread, 85 personalized clay skulls, one tonne of sugar cane and 50,000 marigolds.

For the catrina, three tonnes of materials went into building it, along with 350 meters of fabric to dress it.

Over 200 municipal staff were involved in setting everything up, along with “the señoras who spent two months tailoring and making the dress,” said Álvarez.

The mayor added that the municipal administration did not spend “a single peso” on the project. Instead, it was all sponsored by the people of Zapotlanejo.

The tallest catrina will receive visitors until next Sunday, November 6. They will also be able to enjoy a busy schedule of cultural activities.

Source: Excélsior (sp)

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.