Celebrating life and death in Patzcuaro, Mexico

Day of the Dead in Mexico is a joyous and sacred time. It’s a time to prepare for the return of the souls of the dead by preparing altars, visiting gravestones and cooking special food. And, as I discovered in Patzcuaro, Mexico, it’s a time for children to  join the triumph over death and celebrate life. Here are some of the faces of the children we met during Dia de los Muertos:

Girls in procession with marigolds


Wedding catrina

Many of the costumes are based on La Catrina originally created by Jose Guadalupe Posada and named and painted by Diego Rivera in his famous murals.


Girls in Day of the Dead procession

Solemn catrina in procession


Colleen Friesen and ghouls in Morelia

If You Go 

By Bus: First-class La Linea buses run every hour from the Central Camionera Poniente de Observatorio Bus Station in Mexico City to Patzcuaro bus station with a brief stop in Morelia. The cost is 409 pesos ($35 CAD) one-way.

Hotel: Meson San Antonio offers economical but charming rooms (many with fireplaces) in a historic inn located on Serrato St. just steps to the Basilica and the Day of the Dead Flower Market.

Official Michoacan Tourism Site

Visit Mexico 

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Showing 6 comments
  • Carol Perehudoff


  • Lesley Peterson

    Day of the Dead in Patzcuaro and Morelia does look ghoulish – and fun:P I’ve never seen anything like it. I’d love to stay in that hotel near the flower market. Great photos and tips!

  • nydia

    What sweet children but oddly scary to those of us not used to celebrating death

  • Colleen Friesen

    Love your photos Michele. What a fabulous experience. So glad we did this trip!!

  • currybadger

    These kids will give me nightmares, whats scary about them to me is that they are wearing nice looking close to go along with there bloody stitched up faces

  • Suzanne Fluhr

    We lived in Mexico when I was 9 and I still have the occasional nightmare about the Day of the Dead. It didn’t help that we “celebrated” in the town cemetery (San Miguel de Allende) and in those days, if no one paid for the upkeep of the family plot, the bodies were disinterred and just left there. Shudder.

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