Mexico City (EFE).-
Tens of thousands of Mexicans and tourists attended Sunday’s “Mega Procession of the Catrinas,” a parade of skeletons in Mexico City that serves as a prelude to the Day of the Dead.
Some 26 contingents marched from the Angel of Independence to the Zócalo through Paseo de la Reforma, the capital’s main road, which began this weekend with the Day of the Dead celebrations, which Mexico celebrates on Nov. 1-2.
The participants put on makeup and dressed as catrinas, characters that emulate skulls and skeletons.
There were also the traditional cempasuchil (marigold) flowers, music and giant skulls made with cardboard and paper mache.
The capital’s Secretariat of Citizen Security assigned 1,371 police officers for the security operation.
This year the show turned 10 years, having started in 2014 with a group of just 25 makeup artists and less than 2,000 participants.
Since then, the event has become one of the most significant traditions of the Day of the Dead in Mexico City, which expects to receive 225,680 tourists in hotels for these festivities, 15 percent more than last year.
The catrina is a character created by the Mexican painter, illustrator and caricaturist from Aguascalientes, José Guadalupe Posada, according to the government.
He is the figure most associated with the Day of the Dead, one of the most distinctive festivals in the country.
At first the skull was not clothed and only wore a hat, in reference to the poverty of Mexicans in the first half of the 20th century.
But in 1947 the muralist Diego Rivera used this character, dressed her in an elegant outfit and baptized her “La Catrina” in his mural “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central.”
In addition to this event, Mexico City will hold a Night Walk of the Dead on Oct. 28, the Day of the Dead parade on Nov. 4, and will install a mega offering in the Zócalo.
This year marks 20 years since Mexico’s Day of the Dead was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. EFE