As most of my friends are well aware, I am no fan of Halloween. This pretty much makes me a total outcast in Playa del Carmen. For two years running, I have successfully avoided the whole thing by accompanying Cole to the "Copa de Merida" tournament held every fall in Merida. While last year, we enjoyed a few of festivities going on in the city, we missed the grand Festival de Vida y Muerte at Xcaret, one of my very favorite events of the year. This October, as luck would have it, we were able to do both: visit the altars for Hanal Pixan in Merida AND attend the special events for Day of the Dead hosted by Xcaret. Joy!

The Children's Pavillion was a huge success it seemed although if you wandered in without going to the information and ticketing table first, you soon found yourself back out side, registering in an orderly manner for the various activities and workshops inside. There were lots of fun photo taking opportunities with Revolutionary and other historical figures, an area for the children to make "grave rubbings" and other creative art set ups. It was well lit and organized and really nice for families with small children. My kids were eager to find the face painting stations and tuck into some tamales so off we went. We did our tour through the cemetery, watched some of the dance show, sampled all the food and visited the stables.

Xcaret

Xcaret

Xcaret

Xcaret

Xcaret 

Xcaret 

Xcaret

Xcaret 

Xcaret 

Xcaret 

Xcaret 

Xcaret 

Xcaret 

Dia de los Muertos 

Dia de los Muertos 

Dia de los Muertos

Xcaret 

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos 

Xcaret 

Xcaret

Xcaret

Xcaret 

Day of the Dead 

Day of the Dead 

Xcaret

Xcaret 

Day of the Dead at Xcaret 

From an event organizer's point of view, Xcaret really knocked it out of the park this year. We have attended this festival several times over the past years and every year it gets bigger and better. As a local who has attended the event since its inception, I have to admit I felt a bit nostalgic, a little wistful for the days when the festival was a bit more chaotic and hodge-podge. Gone are the vendors from the villages cooking tortillas over open fires, selling their own atole, tamales, and  other antojitos, replaced by concessions set up by the park. The tortas and churros were delicious, the tables were clean and well manned but I secretly yearned for the bustling and shoving, the jockeying for position in front of the most popular stand. I guess you can't stop progress.

We had a great night and everyone at Xcaret did a fabulous job making sure everyone had a good time. I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us next year!