The lavish Festival de Día de Muertos taking place this weekend in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos brings more opportunity to discover the full spectrum of seasonal Mexican customs.
The town is located just off the Chapala-Guadalajara highway, only minutes away from north shore communities.
The jam-packed program centered at the town plaza gets under way Friday, November 3. Continuous entertainment starts with the dead bride and groom impersonators contest, 5 p.m.; the inaugural parade, 7 p.m.; a chamber orchestra concert in the Santiago Church, 9 p.m.; and the Ballet Folclórico Capactli, 10 p.m.
Saturday highlights include the Ballet Tesmos de Sayula, 4 p.m., the Catrina impersonation contest, 5 p.m., a pre-Hispanic ritual preceding the illumination of entries in the memorial altar competition, 8 p.m., and the colorful Nahuatl Noche de Muertos stage spectacle, 9 p.m.
Sunday’s program features a pre-Hispanic dance ritual for the dead, 4 p.m., the Tlaquepaque tribute to living Dia de Muertos traditions, 7 p.m., and performances by Ixtlahuacan’s Orquesta Típica and award-winning Ballet Folclórcio, 8 p.m.
Running attractions all three days include a giant altar offering set up outside the parish church (see photo page one), the exhibit of traditional wreaths made to embellish grave sites and photography show displayed in the city hall archway, a craft show from Oaxaca set up on the plaza esplanade and a monumental Catrina figure towering over the town. DHP