|The Passage of the Souls
On October 31, Mérida will once again be in the eyes of the world, with the 2013 edition of “Paseo de las Ánimas” (Passage of the Souls), a traditional, unique event which brought 12,000 people together in 2012 and is organized by the Ayuntamiento de Mérida.
This year, for more enjoyment by Meridanos and visitors, the Paseo de las Ánimas will lengthen its route to begin at the Cementerio General (General Cemetery) and finish at the Arco de San Juan (arch), also known as the “Antiguo Camino Real” old road to Campeche, and will include a great variety of traditional attractions for local, national, and international tourists, displaying the values and customs of Meridanos and Yucatecans, starting at 6 pm.
Among the activities, which will include the exhibition of the typical Yucatecan altars of the dead, there will also be musical numbers, a display of regional gastronomy, a Mayan ceremony, stories and legends, the ceremonial parade, and Vaquería dance by the Souls, as well as theatrical representations.
Additionally, there will be guided tours in the Cementerio General and you will be able to enjoy the sounds of known local musicians Los Juglares and Las Maya Internacional.
The “Paseo de las Ánimas” was started in 2008 by the Ayuntamiento de Mérida, as a way to add to the already popular traditional exhibit of altars in various parts of town, known as “Hanal Pixan”. The original tour went between the Ermita church and the Cementerio General, recreating the route that the souls must take during those days.
The procession of souls is made up of children and youth dressed in typical Yucatecan dress and made up to look like the dead. The ceremonial parade is enjoyed by families while observing the traditional altar exhibit, set up with the basic elements that the Mayan culture uses, such as colored or black candles, sweets and drinks of the region, and representative flowers and crosses of Yucatán.
Along the route there will also be characteristic prehispanic music and there will be three stages located at the Cementerio General, La Ermita de Santa Isabel plaza, and the Arco de San Juan, where the colorful will mix with tradition and respect for local customs.
Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a unique event in the world, only celebrated once a year, which, as well as showing how Mérida celebrates the dates of the dear departed, also brings together attractive artistic events for all ages.
Thursday Oct. 31, starting at 6 pm, from the Cementerio General to the Arco de San Juan (Calles 66, 77 A, 64 A and 64, Centro).
Activities to enjoy:
- Solemn parade of the souls, who will also dance the Vaquería;
- Exhibit of altars with participation of citizen councils, private businesses, residents of the area, and municipal bodies;
- Three stages with musical events, artistic representations, and reading of stories and legends;
- Mayan ceremony at the Cementerio General to honor the dear departed, exhibit and enjoyment of Yucatecan gatronomy;
...and tour of the Cementerio General.