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‘Día de los Muertos’ directly translates into ‘Day of the Dead’ in English and as blood-curdling as it sounds, it is a famous Mexican festival that has a joyous and loving backstory. Considered by many as the Mexican equivalent of the Jewish festival, Sukkot, or Halloween, Día de los Muertos begins on October 31 and runs through to November 2. It is a special time for the living to commemorate and celebrate those who have passed on.
If you want to embrace Mexican culture, then do as the Mexicans do; dance to eargasmic tunes, dig into scrumptious tacos and indulge in the best tequila. Read on to learn how the locals and foreigners did just that during the biggest and deadliest Día de los Muertos celebrations that took place at the F1 Pit Building earlier this month.
It’s never appropriate to have a Mexican party without tequila, and not just any Tequila, but the right tequila. The team from Olmeca Altos Tequila were prepared from the get-go; planning a launch for their Tequilas right where the party was: Día de los Muertos 2018. Inspired by Altos Blanco, the Tequila Booth was predominantly turquoise in colour; it was also perfectly matched with wooden benches and tables alongside potted plants and ornaments that fitted right into the 'Day of the Dead' theme.
Tequila: checked! What next? Musica Mexicana of course! Introducing the renown Ireson Latin Band, a group of talented musicians who are no strangers to the Latin scene here in sunny Singapore.
Adults and children alike were showing off their salsa and cumbia moves while the band played away into the night. Need more traditional Mexican music? Sure! These talented musicians can kill a traditional Mariachi performance as well as they do reggaetón hits.
Another highlight of the festival was the Sugar Skull face painting you see on the faces of the event-goers. So Sugar Skull painting was made popular after a man named José Guadalupe Posada created an art piece called La Calavera Catrina ("The Elegant Skull"). This artwork depicted a woman with a skull for a face and was originally made to mock the Mexican upper-class female. The name has evolved into 'sugar skull' in recent times and has become the most familiar symbol of the Día de los Muertos. Event-goers painted their faces as calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls) and many dressed up as Catrina to commemorate this special occasion.
Tacos, burritos, enchiladas! Thanks to the amazing food stalls present, the bustling crowd was spoilt for choice; from Halal desserts to authentic Mexican delights, the hungry event-goers’ insatiable appetites were satisfied. Strings of señoritas and señors were grinning from ear to ear as they strolled along the stretch of food booths set up by Senor Tacos, Park Bench Deli, Penny University and the likes.
Well known storyteller, Valentina Ortiz was flown in specially for this festival. Donned in a white flowy dress, Valentina captivated the children with her vivid interpretation of the story behind Día de los Muertos, a.k.a the day of the dead.
The thing with outdoor events is that you can never be fully prepared for a downpour and that was just what happened during the festival. Thankfully for everyone, the Olmeca Altos booth had a shelter to save the day! Not only were many of the event-goers spared from the merciless rain, the cosy crowd also kept warm with free tequila shots and an array of intoxicating tequila cocktails concocted by Altos’s brand ambassador, Rhyse and his team of tipple experts.
All in all, Día de los Muertos was not just a celebration for the dead, it was also a party for the living and an intimate time for people to celebrate the eventful lives of their dead relatives and loved ones.