For the twenty-second anniversary the Festival of the Skulls will be held at the facilities of Isla San Marcos, in the city of Aguascalientes, but with the novelty that this edition will be the first under the declaration of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the state of Aguascalientes. Enjoy more than 350 cultural, artistic, gastronomic and sporting events alluding to the Day of the Dead, including: monumental altars, living altars, Skull Parade, concerts, shows, rides, plays, guided night walks to the pantheons, children’s workshops, tasting of the Pan de Muertos, bullfight, exhibitions, and much more.
After the San Marcos National Fair, the Festival of Skulls is considered one of the most important tourist attractions in the state. Mexican tradition that solemnly remembers and a great touch of humor, the fragility of the human being before death, the Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico and, in the city of Aguascalientes, year after year from the end of October to the beginning of November, it is celebrated in a big way with the Festival of the Skulls, a picturesque celebration for the deceased in which happy calacas and giant catrinas dance to the sound of the tambora at all hours, living altars, fruits of the ingenuity and eagerness of life of their creators, marvel at Small and big.
The Festival of Skulls in Aguascalientes, breaks with everything traditional, throws the house out the window and celebrates in a big way for 10 days. This year they turn the coin around in terms of its celebration, there does not enter the melancholy, but the comedy, the humor, the sarcasm, the color and the zapateado do. The main venue will be San Marcos Island, but the Festival will be taking place throughout the city.CHECK OUT THIS NIGHT TERROR RUN THROUGH THE WOODS On the island of San Marcos you will find the gardens, esplanades, concerts and pavilions, you can also enjoy traditional bread, and learn about the tradition of pan de muerto, the artisan and take a workshop of preparation and tasting. There is for everyone, the child will be there to make sugar skulls and play in the workshops.
This Festival was created with the aim of rescuing and preserving the traditions of worshiping the deceased and within its festive framework, tribute is paid to one of the plastic artists with worldwide recognition, illustrious engraver and draftsman and pride of Aguascalientes, José Guadalupe Posada creator of the character of La Catrina, who decorates herself every year as the host of the Festival of Skulls.
The objective of this incredible Festival is to keep alive the traditions and pay tribute to one of the plastic artists with worldwide recognition: José Guadalupe Posada, creator of the character of La Catrina, who is the host of this great event.
The Monumental Poster of the twenty-second edition of the Festival of Skulls of more than five meters high and placed in the Plaza de la Patria, the Governor of the State of Aguascalientes Carlos Lozano de la Torre, the President of the System for Development Integral of the Blanca Rivera Rio de Lozano Family, the Secretary of Tourism Alejandro Ponce Larrinúa as well as authorities from the three levels of government, led the start of activities of the Calaveras Festival 2016 with the spectacular Calaveras Parade made up of a contingent of more than 3,000 skeleton participants.
The city center vibrated once again with one of the tours with the greatest tradition and acceptance by the public, demonstrating that without a doubt Festival de Calaveras is Intangible Heritage of Aguascalientes, an event that was born as a tribute to the illustrious engraver from Aguascalientes, José Guadalupe Posada. and now it is consolidated as a cultural event and concerned with preserving the traditions and origins of Aguascalientes.
In this 2016 edition the parade was titled ‘Jolgorio de Calaveras’, and 14 floats titled: ‘The Jade Mask’, ‘The Innocence’, ‘The Sweet Death’, ‘The Headless Monk’, ‘The Revolutionary Death’ ‘,’ La Calavera ‘,’ Jesús Terán Peredo ‘,’ Los Periodistas ‘,’ El Jolgorio de Calaveras ‘,’ La Peste ‘,’ Las Platas ‘,’ El Jolgorio de Posada ‘,’ Malgré Tout ‘and’ El Infierno ‘.
It should be noted that in this spectacular parade more than 3 thousand people participated in different troupes made up of 12 animation groups, 12 dance groups, 8 musical bands, 6 marching band, as well as educational institutions, civil associations and government institutions.
The Calaveras Parade 2016, was produced by the maestro Jorge Campos, one of the most renowned Aguascalientes artists and who has participated in its production on several occasions during the last two decades.
The main stage is the Isla San Marcos, enjoy the magic, beauty and mysticism that was created for this occasion, in addition to seeing how some of the characters created by José Guadalupe Posada will come to life for the performances that will be part of the celebration.
Finally, the extraordinary fireworks show closed with a flourish the light and color show that dressed the sky of the Historic Center of Aguascalientes, which marked the beginning of the twenty-second edition of the Calaveras Festival.
You can feel the party with exquisite touches in its craft exhibitions, taste its delicious gastronomy, including the rich and traditional pan de muerto, let yourself be carried away by the peculiar musical notes of the concerts of the Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra, in addition to witnessing the best film shows and music festivals, and the unique street theater.
Walk the streets of the city in the themed visits such as the Calaveras Parade that runs through the main avenues of the historic center, the night walk, or the procession of souls on tourist trams, in addition to the contest of altars and the more than 350 activities that will be part of this great event.
Festival de Calaveras
The Calaveras Cultural Festival, also known as the Calaveras Fair, is one of the most important traditional events in the State of Aguascalientes. It has been held since 1994, to the present day, carrying out various events, such as the parade of the skulls, an exhibition of crafts related to the day of the dead, pavilions of traditional gastronomy, the so-called “living altar” among many others, likewise It is characterized by the placement of the “Tianguis de las Calaveras,” which was originally placed on the streets surrounding the Los Angeles and Cruz de los Cruz pantheons, mainly those of José Guadalupe Posada and Guadalupe, in the old neighborhood. from Guadalupein the city of Aguascalientes, Mexico, being that currently this tianguis is placed at the back of said cemeteries, precisely on the avenue called Arrollo de los Arellano as well as in the facilities of Isla San Marcos.
This festival is held the last week of October and the first week of November in order to preserve popular traditions regarding the day of the dead, as well as pay tribute to José Guadalupe Posada, a cartoonist and engraver from Aguascalientes, internationally recognized for his works by a particular tragic humor alluding to revolutionary Mexico.
Origin of the skull festival
The Festival of the Skulls can be considered a remnant of the San Marcos National Fair, which took place on the outskirts of Parián in the last days of October and November. It also coincides with the traditional dates of November 1 and 2, All Saints’ Day and Commemoration of the Faithful Departed.
From its beginnings it preserves popular elements such as the tianguis, the grape harvest, the tribute to the deceased from the offerings and the festive character through music, pyrotechnics, the walk through the city center and traditional food.
The festivity regained vitality at the end of the 20th century with the arrival of hundreds of emigrant families from the Federal District and neighboring states, when INEGI was decentralized and transferred to the entity. In the early 1990s, the first altars were set up in the Casa de la Cultura and in a few years, the celebration extended to the Los Arquitos Cultural Center until it became the Calaveras Cultural Festival, whose main image is the Catrina by José Guadalupe Posada.
In each of the most current editions, the festival has held nearly 280 events. Tours of the Historic Center and pantheons, exhibitions of paintings, engravings and photographs stand out; variety of musical events, plays, drawing contests, presentations by dance groups, exhibitions of altars of the dead that are accompanied by the humorous literary skulls, national and international sporting events. A particular activity is a night walk “Light up your Feet to the Dead”, carried out on the Cerro del Picacho, at the foot of Cerro del Muerto. What crowns this festival is the Parade of the Skulls, in which countless allusions to the dead can be admired, and the one that finally reaches the altar of the dead living.
According to figures from the Organization, the festival receives more than 850 thousand visitors, making it the second most important event in Aguascalientes after the San Marcos National Fair, leaving an economic spill of more than 180 million pesos derived from tourism.