Almost coinciding with Halloween, this merry festival honours the dead like no other.
One of the most diverse modern festivals to celebrate death, La Calaca takes place in San Miguel de Allende. The festival is a jovial gathering with tasteful infusions of culture and music, deriving its aesthetic themes from the Day of the Dead festival.
Celebrated in many countries all over the world, but most elaborately in Mexico, Día de los Muertos or the ‘Day of the Dead’ is a three day commemoration of the dead ancestors and relatives that commences on October 31 and ends on All Souls’ Day, November 2. La Calaca is simply a more art oriented, participatory celebration of Day of the Dead.
Because this festival is very easily confused with Halloween, it’s important to note that La Calaca is a happy– as can be– celebration of the dead, unlike Halloween and other Halloween celebrations where the spirits are portrayed in modern culture as relatively volatile and angry, even though the two festivals somewhat coincide.
Not one with a long history, this festival began in 2012, to bring all the culture and creativity San Miguel de Allende has to offer forth on the days of Día de los Muertos.
There are many seemingly strange beliefs and traditions that come with Día de los Muertos that are seen during the La Calaca’s celebration as well. The primary one is the feast for the dead. The tradition is to make an offering to the dead, inviting them home for a feast. But more modernized than the traditional festival, La Calaca sees livelier cultural activities– live art installations, colorful costume parades, workshops and more.
The festival features several events, each centered on either music or art, encouraging local artists and displaying their work to a great mass of audience that ranges from residents to tourists. San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful place, so if you happen to witness this festival, take some time out to soak in the picturesque beauty of the vibrant city.
La Calaca, much like Dias de los Muertos celebrates death as a fact of life. The loved ones dedicate these few days to the deceased and celebrate them heartily in their honor. As strange as it might sound, this is slowly becoming one of the most culturally rich festivals in the world.