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This is how we celebrated Day of the Dead in London – 2021

By Viridiana Marin

Mexican culture resists!

Thousands of people: Mexicans, locals and people from around the world enjoyed the Day of the Dead Festival organised by The British Library, UK Mexico Arts Society, Camden Council, la Mexican Embassy to the UK and MexiBrit last Saturday 30 of October in the heart of London, just a step away from Kings Cross St. Pancras at the British Library, Story Garden and Ossulston Street.

The thousands of punters enjoyed a day full of activities, live music and traditional Mexican food, here we tell you how Day of the Dead came to life in London.

To begin with, what appeared to be a rainy and cloudy saturday (typical London) turned into a colourful day full of the taste and smell of Mexico and some sunshine too! mexican style, London closed one of its roads to full it up with food, arts and crafts stalls, a stage for live music to let the fiesta begin.

Upon arriving and witnessing the ‘vocho’ beetle altar to Tino Contreras, you could smell the tacos cooking inviting you for a bite every step you took, there were children’s workshops and art everywhere, cinema, ofrendas, papel picado, catrinas, balloons, tequila and cafe de olla. Yes! You could drink on the street, the same as a Mexican street party.

Its important to say that us Mexicans have a very peculiar way to celebrate death, we smile, hug, sing and even dance with her, that is why it wasn’t surprising to see some surprised faces from locals who had just discovered our tradition.

Even though lots of us who live on this side of the world could not see our families due to the pandemic, London really felt like Mexico and brought happiness to our hearts through this beautiful tradition that we could show off with lots of pride in a parade full of colour and celebration. 

This is how we devoured the nostalgia feelings, with every bite we took of the ‘pan de muerto, the tamales, the conchas and we even loaded sadness out when we sang Cielito Lindo together with the mariachi.

Once Day of the Dead is experienced in London Mexican style,  the loving link cannot be broken, Mexican Dia de Muertos, a Celebration of Life this 2021 came to London to confirm that here or there, our Mexican culture and traditions keep resisting.

So proud to be Mexican!

Happy Day of the Dead in London x

Read this article IN SPANISH



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