Water Song, Day of the Dead 2016, Zocalo the Constitution Square

The Ministry of Culture of the capital prepares a series of artistic meetings in the Plaza de la Constitución after the Grand Opening Parade, which will go from the Angel of Independence to the Zocalo on the occasion of the Day of the Dead.

The Megaofrenda del Zócalo 2016 will be called Canto al Agua, in homage to the legacy of Tenochtitlán18 years ago the Historic Center was flooded with traditional elements of the Day of the Dead; the citizenship was impregnated with colors, smells and flavors, thanks to the Megaofrenda del Zócalo in Mexico City.

The origin of the elements that mark their culture, including that of the bread of the dead, which dates back to the arrival of the Spaniards, when human sacrifice was a daily practice. Various visual talents have been fortunate to have the creation of the offering in their hands; This year Betsabeé Romero will be in charge of honoring the great Tenochtitlan.

In the Plaza de la Constitución people can enjoy the traditional offering that is placed every year, this time designed with 120 trajineras turned into altars and the offering «Canto al Agua», by the visual artist Betsabé Romero.The great offering will be open to the public free of charge.

The parade will depart in the afternoon from the column of the Angel of Independence will travel Paseo de la Reforma to Avenida Juárez, there it will turn on the Lázaro Cárdenas Central Axis until reaching Tacuba, continue on Bolívar and May 5 to end at the capital Zócalo. There, the first concert on the Plaza de la Constitución esplanade will be performed by the Symphonic Band of Mexico City, followed by the presentation of the Ballet of the Dance School of the CDMX and the recital of Rosalía León + Gliese 229. As well as the performance of Julio Revueltas and “Mictlantecuhtli: Hacia Mictlán”, a musical block by Alyosha Barreiro with Tonaná, Alex Mercado, Metrika, Luis Méndez, Viviana Basanta and Iztakuauhtli.

Attendees will also be able to observe the offering “Canto al agua” by the visual artist Betsabeé Romero, which will take place until November 2, or be part of the Night Bike Ride. In addition to this traditional Mexican installation in the historic center, the Carrillo Gil Art, Popular Art and Mexico City museums have placed altars that visitors can enjoy. On the same day, the Lighthouse of Indios Verdes offers “An evening with the Catrina”, a theater, dance and juggling proposal, as well as a traditional bread-making workshop and the urban catwalk “Catrinas y pumpkins”, with pieces designed to from recycled materials

10 “bony” mariachis decorate the balconies of the capital’s government building and a catrina peeks through the window of the local president, Miguel Ángel Mancera, in the Zócalo esplanade people enjoy the traditional offering that is placed every year.

The Day of the Dead offering that was designed with trajineras of uniform decoration and different messages that ask for death and end to problems facing the country, the almost generalized comments were of a work more than simple and expected more spectacular.

Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican and generally Mesoamerican celebration that honors the dead. It takes place on November 1 and 2 and is linked to the Catholic celebrations of Day of the Faithful and All Saints.

It is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and to a lesser extent in Central American countries, as well as in many communities in the United States, where there is a large Mexican population. In 2008, Unesco declared the festival as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Mexico.

The passage from life to death is an emblematic moment that has caused admiration, fear and uncertainty to the human being throughout history. For many years, beliefs about death have been generated in various cultures that have succeeded in developing a whole series of rites and traditions to venerate, honor, scare and even make fun of her. Mexico is a country rich in culture and traditions; One of the main aspects that make up its identity as a nation is the conception of life, death and all the traditions and beliefs that revolve around them.

Festivities that are considered precursors of the Day of the Dead in Mexico are prior to the arrival of the Spanish. I no record of celebrations in the ethnic Mexica, Maya, Purépecha and totonaca. The rituals that celebrate the life of the ancestors are performed in these civilizations since pre-Columbian times. The practice of preserving skulls as trophies and displaying them during rituals that symbolized death was common among pre-Hispanic peoples. However, the anthropologist Elsa Malvido has questioned the explanation of the pre-Hispanic origin of the Day of the Dead, highlighting the continuity of traditions that emerged in medieval Europe.

It should be noted that this celebration is not typical of all Mexicans since, despite being a party that has become a national symbol and that as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the country’s schools, there are many families that they are more attached to celebrating “All Saints’ Day” as they do in other Catholic countries. In addition, it is worth mentioning the strong influence of the United States that, at least in border areas, is evidenced by the presence of the party known as Halloween, which is celebrated every year with more frequency and in a greater number of homes. Hence, there is a concern among Mexicans themselves of wanting to preserve the Day of the Dead as part of Mexican culture over other similar celebrations.

Constitution Square in Mexico City
The Plaza de la Constitución, informally known as El Zócalo, is the main square in Mexico City. Together with the surrounding streets, it occupies an almost rectangular surface area of approximately 46,800 m² (195 mx 240 m). It was named in honor of the Constitution of Cádiz promulgated in 1812. This is the second largest square in the world and the first among Spanish-speaking countries. 1

The Zocalo is located in the heart of the area known as the Historic Center of Mexico City, in the Cuauhtémoc Demarcation. Its location was chosen by the Spanish conquerors to be established just to the side of what was previously the political and religious center of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, capital of the Mexica.

It is surrounded by the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City to the north, the National Palace (seat of the Federal Executive Power) to the east, the Old City Hall Palace and the Government Building (replica of the previous one, both of the Government of Mexico City headquarters of the local Executive Power) to the south, and to the west by commercial buildings (such as the Merchants Portal ), administrative and hotels. In the northeast corner of the square, is the Museo del Templo Mayor, Manuel Gamio Square, as well as the Zócalo station of Line 2 of the Metro.

Since the Mesoamerican era, it has hosted important events in the various stages of Mexico’s history, as well as a site of concentration and social and cultural manifestations. For five centuries of history it has undergone changes in the elements and buildings that surround and constitute it; They were installed and removed in numerous times gardens, monuments, circuses, markets, tram routes, fountains and other ornaments. The current physiognomy dates from 1958.

The Zocalo beyond being the seat of the political, economic and religious power of Mexico, as well as being a space where the indigenous and vice-colonial past are mixed, with almost five centuries of history, is also the place where the people of Mexico meet gathers to celebrate parties and important historical events have occurred.