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Why the world parties on the Day of the Dead

Why the world parties on the Day of the Dead

Why the world parties on the Day of the Dead

The Day Of The Dead isn’t ‘Mexican Halloween’: it’s a celebration of life honoured by millions around the world.

You would think something called the Day Of The Dead would be a sombre affair – but you would be dead wrong.

Nor is it a ‘Mexican version of Halloween’.

Instead, it is a riotous annual event that is celebrated throughout Mexico and increasingly all around the world on November 1-2.

A carnival of song, dance, food, costumes, art and music, the Day Of The Dead began thousands of years ago in Latin America as a way of remembering one’s ancestors in a joyous way. It pays homage to one’s late relatives, while also remembering that life is meant to be lived.

There are Day Of The Dead celebrations in some of the world’s biggest cities, particularly Mexico City, home of the best parties of all.
Visiting the cemetery is a popular tradition on the Day Of The Dead: including some of the most beautiful and moving “Cities Of The Dead” featured below.

St Louis Cemetery No.1

Like gumbo and jazz, the Day Of The Dead is a living tradition in New Orleans. Follow the famed street parties straight to St Louis Cemetery No.1. Its above-ground tombs (a New Orleans specialty), white crypts and haunting statues have an eerie beauty. It is home to more than 100,000 residents, including the “Voodoo Queen” Marie Laveau, as well as the unnamed tomb of future deceased Nicolas Cage. Oh, it’s also allegedly haunted.

The St. Louis Cemetery No.1 in New Orleans Louisiana, USA


Established by no less than Napoleon, this Parisian cemetery is possibly the most visited in the world (if you’re ghoulish enough to check the figures). Its star “attraction” is the tombstone of American rocker Jim Morrison. You won’t miss it: fans have “helpfully” defaced nearby tombstones with arrows pointing towards “Jim”. The Doors frontman is in good company: Pére-Lachaise is home to a veritable who’s who of celebrities from Oscar Wilde to Chopin.

Aerial view of Pere Lachaise Cemetery taken from Montparnasse Tower in Paris, France


With its ponds, rolling hills, birdlife, Gothic revival gates and fantastic view of the Statue Of Liberty, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood projects an effortless aura of peace. Often ranked among the world’s most beautiful cemeteries, more than 500,000 residents call it home, including politicians, Civil War generals, assorted luminaries and more recently composer Leonard Bernstein and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

New York City’s Green-Wood Cemetery, founded in 1838 and located in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn. The Manhattan skyline is in the distance


Boasting amazing angelic sculptures, a heritage listing and an unbeatable ocean view from the cliffs at Bronte, Australia’s Waverley is one of the world’s most picturesque plot sites. The contrast of marble and stone against a clear blue sky makes it eminently photographable. Poet Henry Lawson is among its most famous residents.

Waverley Cemetery in Sydney, Australia

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