The Vibrant State of Oaxaca Celebrates Day of the Dead
Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s most vibrant states, is located in southwestern Mexico and is best known for its indigenous cultures. The Central Valley of Oaxaca is well known for its archaeological sites, culture and fine crafts. Oaxaca also contains a vast diversity of wildlife including plants, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
Whether one is interested in shopping, sightseeing or eating great food; Oaxaca has something to offer everyone. The angelic state has unique architecture, top-notch museums, and its own delicious version of Mexican food. Some great places for shopping are the Atzompa community market which is famous for its handmade green-glazed pottery and Mercado de Abastos, the largest outdoor market in Mexico. A few places for sightseeing are the Monte Albán archaeological site, the mezcal plantation, the Mitla archaeological site, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca. Known for its fabulous regional cuisine, many people visit Oaxaca just for the food. Mole negro, cocido, and tlayudas with quesillo are just a handful of the dishes that you will find here. Some of the crowd-pleasing restaurants are Los Danzantes, Los Pacos and Catedral. When looking for something sweet, look no further because Oaxaca is famous for its chocolate.
In the state capital, the celebration of Day of the Dead begins a week before November 1 with the commencement of the “Plaza de los Muertos.” Located in the city market, natives will find everything they need for the holiday including mole negro, marigolds, Oaxacan chocolate and pan de muertos. Although Day of the Dead is celebrated all of over Mexico, the state of Oaxaca has become famous for its elaborate celebrations. Families typically build the ofrendas (altars) on a table and then wrap it with a tablecloth or white sheet and use sugarcane to make an arch above the altar. After the ofrenda is built, families will start placing the offerings that consist of corn jelly, pumpkin with black sugar, and chocolate ground by stone. In addition, there is an abundance of fresh regional fruit, nuts, and cooked chayote. Families not only visit the gravesites and make altars; they also enjoy and participate in theatrical performances that represent the returning of the deceased.