If you want to get to know the real Mexico, there’s no better way to do it than by attending the La Calaca Festival. The event was first held in 2012, and is now one of the largest and most popular Day of the Dead festivals in South America. Think carnival meets Halloween, punctuated by lots of trick or treating, arts, floats, fun, games, booze, and food in between. It’s one of the most unique and exciting festivals in the world, as Mexico explodes in vibrant color, art, and music for the duration of the event.
Most of the arts at the festival are inspired by the Day of the Dead, which combines creative expression with deep meaning. And while it’s an event that honors the dead, La Calaca Festival is actually a celebration of all things good in life. So you won’t see a lot of black and somber activity; there will be a lot of activities for all ages as well as bright colors and dancing. Art in various forms will titillate the senses, from light shows, live installations on real models, paintings, and more which interpret the themes of Dia de los Muertos, there is simply no other south American festival like it. In fact, you might even be turned into a work of art yourself by one of the local artists!
For the three days of the festival, there will also be amazing workshops, installations to explore, cemetery tours (get up close and personal with the dead!), and much more to enjoy.
‘Art inspired by life, death, and the Dia de los Muertos come alive at La Calaca Festival’
However, the fun of the festival lies in YOUR participation. Joining in on the festivities is what makes this event so special. Afterwards, it may just change how you think about art, life, death, and your role in the grand scheme of things through a dazzling and electrifying festival.
The festival, attractions, and activities will take place in several venues throughout San Miguel de Allende and the city center. There will be daytime and nighttime events to look out for.
Almost all of the attractions within San Miguel de Allende are within walking distance from one another. However, take note that the city was carved out of a mountainside so there will be a few areas that are more challenging to walk to and from due to steep inclines.
Bicycles are a fun way to sightsee and travel to further distances. There are many bike rental shops in the city as well as biking tours. Taxis also operate within the city for a fixed rate, and may be the more convenient option if you are getting around after dark. To avoid hassles and stress, you’ll want to stay away from attempting to drive your own rental cars here, so stick to getting around on foot or by bicycle.
The town proper has several charming accommodations in colonial style homes, hotels, and guesthouses. Finding affordable accommodations for the festival is a breeze.
San Miguel de Allende’s rich colonial history is alive in the architecture and streets. But for a true pulse on the city’s culture, head over to El Jardin where day or night the French square features various entertainment acts with artists and musicians. Immerse yourself in local art at Fabrica La Aurora, which showcases incredible glasswork, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and more all for sale. Shop till you drop at Mercado de Artesanias, a stunning local market selling inexpensive handicrafts and traditional snacks.
Oh, and eat to your heart’s content. The city is home to the finest, most authentic Mexican dishes ranging from hole-in-the-wall eats, street food, and romantic rooftop restaurants. Wash it all down with mescal – you’re in Mexico, after all.
The La Calaca Festival will take place from November 1-5, 2018.
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