Yucatan Hanal Pixan in the Festival of Life and Death Traditions of Xcaret

In Art & Culture, Celebrations, Traditions

The most important cultural event in Cancun and Riviera Maya

Festival of Hanal Pixan.

Day of the Dead traditions in Mexico is worldwide recognized for its authenticity and unique festive environment. Dead represents another stage of life out of this world since pre-Hispanic times. These beliefs were mixed with Catholic traditions, giving as a result, one of the most iconic celebrations in the country.

But, have you heard of the Hanal Pixan? This is how the Maya celebrate their Day of the Dead.  The words mean “Comida de las ánimas” or meal for the soul and it’s a unique way to see the world.

Read more: Celebrating Day Of The Dead In Yucatan

Gastronomy at the festival.

We want to return and look back at our ancestors to show something that the Mayans have always had in mind, Hanal Pixán means “soul” who gives life to the body. We will relive a millenary tradition with new eyes: “We will see that, as you see, I was, as I see, I see!”

Everything starts on October 31st. This day is dedicated to the little ones, the children. An altar must be prepared with a white tablecloth, fruit, traditional candies, desserts, and toys.

Festival in Xcaret

On November the 1st and 2nd the altars are dedicated to the grown-ups. Candles must be white, and the favorite food of the deceased is prepared and served next to their photos. You can also find alcoholic beverage like tequila, mezcal or beer. Water and salt are present to purify the altar. The souls have the chance to eat the food with all their families one more time. The scent of all this traditional food is what feeds them. Once the dead ones are fulfilled, the family is allowed to eat the food on the next day.

The most important thing you need to understand, is that Day of the Dead is a celebration of happiness and joy to remember our deceased loved ones, where sadness and sorrow are not allowed.


As every year, the Festival of Life and Death Traditions of Xcaret Park hosts a special guest, this 12th edition is the state of Yucatan. During this festivity you will be able to experience the Hanal Pixan ritual (food for the souls), cuisine of the region, workshops, crafts, gifts and altars, visual arts exhibitions, theater, dance and gala concerts.  Receive the souls of the dead from October 30th to November 2nd with all the activities prepared especially to commemorate them.

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