Day of the Dead
October 26 - November 5
All events are free to watch and available worldwide. We collaborated with artists, creatives, and experts to produce content around Day of the Dead. Events will be available from midday on the day marked and may be subject to changes.
Monday, 26 October
Day of the Dead Altar Essentials: How to make "pan de muerto" by Sweet Nibble
Join Mexican bakery in the UK Sweet Nibble in learning how to bake Pan de Muerto: a round loaf of sweet bread adorned with the forms of bones on the top, and then sprinkled with sugar. A seasonal treat to be enjoyed during Day of the Dead celebrations and also to ornate your altar.
Day of the Dead Altar Essentials: How to make cempasúchil flowers with plastic by Ana Hurtado (in Spanish only)
Join Ana Hurtado in learning how to make the bright yellow Mexican marigolds using shopping plastic bags. The colourful orange flowers are an essential in Day of the Dead altars since they are believed to help the souls of the departed to keep their way along the path in the afterlife.
Day of the Dead Altar Essentials: How to make cempasúchil flowers with paper: Eulalia Gurza
Join Eulalia Gurza in learning how to make Mexican marigolds using tissue paper. The colourful orange flowers are an essential in Day of the Dead altars since they are believed to help the souls of the departed to keep their way along the path in the afterlife.
Music inspiration: “Jinete” by Luis Chapa & Eduardo Andrade
Listen to the Mexican song El jinete, composed by José Alfredo Jiménez, interpreted by the pianist Eduardo Andrade and the tenor Luis Chapa, both talented Mexican musicians living in the UK.
El Jinete tells the story of a man who, separated by the death of his beloved, is unable to overcome this loss and lives continuously remembering her and waiting for the moment when they will be reunited.
Tuesday, 27 October
Day of the Dead Storytelling: Puppetit Entertainers
Alex Teran, from Puppetit Entertainers, tells the story of Panchito and his aunties, Chelito and Caty, who help him to overcome some of his fears about the Day of the Dead. (English and Spanish versions available). http://www.puppetit.co.uk/
Death in Mexican literature: A conversation by Ana Elena González & Adriana Díaz Enciso
Join Adriana Díaz Enciso, London-based Mexican (poetry and fiction) author and translator, and Ana Elena González, Director of the Center for Mexican Studies UNAM-UK and Professor of UNAM’s Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, in a conversation on the concept of death in Mexican literature and their connection to the Day of the Dead celebration as Mexicans and as women of letters.
An Offering from Mexico to the World: DYI Altar at Home by Betsabeé Romero
Make your Day of the Dead altar and flower path as part of the project "An offering from Mexico to the world" by Mexican artist Betsabeé Romero. An experiential and participative memorial DIY at your place to celebrate our beloved ones who have passed away. You will be able to see the tutorials and download the formats for each element, as well as check out the Day of the Dead playlist and the recipes that have been prepared for the activation of your altar from anywhere in the world. Please share your photos on social media with the hashtags #OfrendadeMexicoalmundo #DayoftheDeadUK
Wednesday, 28 October
Day of the Dead video mapping installation at the British Museum: Tupac Martir
We invite you to enjoy a series of images/video-mapping designed by the Mexican artist Tupac Martir and produced by Observatory Creative for the Day of the Dead Festival in 2015. Six animations were projected onto the facade of The British Museum, each created around Posada’s imagery and the Day of the Dead theme. The project also implemented social interaction with people posting names of the recently deceased which appeared on the building.
Day of the Dead and Mexican Cinema: A conversation by David Martínez & Rafael Flores
Join Rafael Flores Zafra, MA in Cultural Studies and Global Policy at Goldsmiths University of London, and David Martínez, Raindance Film Festival Producer, in this 20 min talk centred around four films: Macario by Roberto Gavaldón, Spectre by Sam Mendes, Coco by Pixar Animation Studios and Día de los Muertos by Carlos Gutiérrez Medrano. Our speakers invite you to watch Macario following this link: Macario with English subtitles
Calaveritas: A very Mexican Literary Genre by Mabel Encinas
Join Mabel Encinas in learning how to write a literary calavera: a playful, satirical epitaph in verse that Mexicans write for Day of the Dead festivities. Mabel Encinas is a Mexican artist and poet based in London, member of the Hispano-American Women Writers on Memory, who works as a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood and Education Studies at London Metropolitan University.
Thursday, 29 October
Day of the Dead Storytelling: Filo de la Llata, Coapa & Co.
“Pan de Muerto” is one of the most delicious baked goods in Mexico. A sweet bread traditionally eaten at home on Día de Muertos, enjoyed when visiting our beloved ones' graves and even used in our ofrendas for our departed loved ones to savor. But have you ever asked yourself about the origin of the “Pan de Muerto” recipe? Why is it called the bread of the dead?
You are in for a treat today because we offer you a short audiobook that briefly narrates this unique bread legend and how the recipe was inspired by a tragic incident involving grandma Chencha and her beloved grandchildren's lives Roberto and Sonia, forever. Pan de Muerto is a tale of love, tragedy, and the importance of supporting our family, even from the afterlife, and it shows how the power of love can transcend beyond the grave.
Listen to "Pan de Muerto" in English
Escucha "Pan de Muerto" en Español
Mexican Perspectives in The Kaleidoscopic Vision of Malcolm Lowry: Souls and Shamans by Nigel H Foxcroft
Prof. Nigel H. Foxcroft unravels British writer Malcolm Lowry´s heterogeneous erudition and what he calls his “kaleidoscopic vision of the world” in the book published last year. In this short video, Prof. Foxcroft shares his remarks about Day of the Dead and Lowry´s views on this Mexican celebration. Nigel H. Foxcroft is a Senior lecturer of English literature, Russian, and European studies at the University of Brighton.
An ancient Mexican tradition: Day of the Dead: Dr. Elizabeth Baquedano. In collaboration with Latin America Show
Watch Dr. Elizabeth Baquedano’s talk on Day of the Dead in the Latin American Show to learn about the essential elements that have been present in this celebration from its origin and remain until this day.
Dr. Elizabeth Baquedano is a specialist in the Archaeology of Mesoamerica, and a Senior Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, where she is the Coordinator of Aztec Archaeology and Ethnohistory. She also gives regular Gallery Talks at the British Museum and has contributed to the section on The Day of the Dead in Mixquic in The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead, published by British Museum Press.
Friday, 30 October
Music inspiration: “La Llorona” by Morgan Szymanski
"La Llorona" is a popular Mexican song, originated in the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in Oaxaca. Listen to the arrangements composed especially for this festival by Morgan Szymanski, a Mexican classical guitarist graduated from the Royal College of Music with a 16-year successful international career.
Day of the Dead E-learning Snacks: Hand Made Spanish Classes
Laura Estrella, founder of Hand Made Spanish Classes, shares this useful learning tools for who wants to keep practicing Spanish while learning about the Day of the Dead:
Mexican Spirits in the Day of the Dead Altar by Tequila Patrón
Don’t miss out the Day of the Dead altar installation at Instituto Cervantes Manchester by Ana Hurtado and learn more about this Mexican celebration, particularly, the various elements that compose the ‘ofrenda’.
Saturday, 31 October
Day of the Death: Altar, by Ana Hurtado. In collaboration with Instituto Cervantes
José Gutiérrez, Tequila Patrón Latin American and Caribbean brand Ambassador, teach us how to prepare a cocktail to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Mexican flavours will be balanced by sweet and sour notes in this cocktail decorated with a very distinctive Day of the Dead garnish. Enjoy!
Day of the Dead Storytelling: Rodolfo Ornelas. In collaboration with The Anglo Mexican Foundation
Storyteller Rodolfo Ornelas presents two videos for this festival, in collaboration with The Anglo Mexican Foundation:
This short narration is based on the story written by B. Traven, which tells the story of an indigenous person who, after sharing a meal with the character of Death on the eve of the Day of the Dead, receives the power to cure any person of any illness. Thus, he begins a new life as a "healer", but Death will be the one who decides who he will be able to cure, which will cause him a serious dilemma.
El Altar de Muertos (Dead of the Day Altar)
Rodolfo Ornelas will explain which are the elements that set up a Mexican Altar for Day of the Dead. From the cempasúchil flowers, through the traditional Pan de Muerto, to the different levels of the Altar.
Music inspiration: “La leyenda de la llorona” by Gerardo Méndez & Diego Laverde
Gerardo Méndez and Diego Laverde met at King´s Cross Underground station while busking. Since then, they love to create beautiful versions for acoustic string instruments. Listen to their version of “La leyenda de la llorona”, a cover from Spanish musicians, Mägo de Oz.
Sunday, 1 November
Food for Day of the Dead Altar: Santiago Lastra from Kol
Watch Mexican Chef Patron Santiago Lastra at his recently opened restaurant KOL cooking a quesadilla made with corn from Mexico and Oaxaca style cheese made in Kent, garnished with orange colour petal flowers for the Day of the Dead touch. “Mexican Soul, British ingredients” is how Santiago Lastra presents a new take of Mexican fare, a cuisine rooted in tradition, but always evolving and adapting, holding at its core the understanding of landscape, culture and people.
Monday, 2 November
Altar 2N: The Journey of Xolo by Expressarte London & Dosal Productions
ALTAR 2N will take you to explore the magnificence, depth and magic of the Day of the Dead´s ritual, in one of the most difficult years in history. It is an artistic, mediatic and strategic exercise to bring together two cultures that have a lot in common, Mexico and Great Britain. ALTAR 2N, is a small example of the greatness of Mexico that will remain beyond death and life.
Tuesday, 3 November
The Death in the Skin: Photographer Mauricio Silerio in conversation with Magaly Flores. In collaboration with Instituto Cervantes Manchester
Mexican photographer Mauricio Silerio talks to Magaly Flores, Manchester-based specialist in Mexican folklore, about the importance of Day of the Dead for the Mexican people.
Wednesday, 4 November
Day of the Dead Retrospective in London by Roger Alarcón
Mexican photographer Roger Alarcón shares his archives with the festival to show how “catrinas & catrines” have flooded London on the Day of the Dead celebrations throughout the years until now. From the British Museum in 2009, though the Thames and London streets in recent years, to the UK Mexican Arts Society Altar in 2020 (with social distancing).
Thursday, 5 November