Posted October 14, 2009 by Jamie Moore
Raise a glass, a tamale, or a sugary skull during the joyful Day of the Dead celebrations November 1 and 2, when Mexicans welcome home their ancestors' spirits. Merida goes all out with elaborate street altars and skeletal parades downtown. Join the party in November or throughout the year with traditional cuisine, shopping in a spirited market, and an overnight in a Mexican art deco home.
La Parrilla Merida (this website is in Spanish only): Feasting is top priority during any Mexican celebration, but at this one, Mexicans prepare and share meals with spirits of the dearly departed. Dig into a traditional Day of the Dead pollo pibil dish at La Parrilla Merida restaurant. The zesty tamale, chicken marinated in sour orange juice and wrapped in banana leaves before baking, is a local favorite any time of year. Save room for the lime soup with crunchy tortilla chips, and announce a toast to your ancestors with Xtabentun, a refined liqueur of sweet anise and honey.
Lucas de Galvez Municipal Market: At Merida's main downtown market, you can taste homemade food or pick up handmade art and crafts anytime. The Day of the Dead, though, brings a whole new spread: skeletons, decorations for altars, traditional Day of the Dead foods, toys, and other kitsch. Ten bucks goes pretty far if you're looking to stock up on white sugar candy skulls and coffins, a special treat this time of year—or bouquets of marigolds, the traditional Day of the Dead flower. Candy ghosts holding beer are proof this is a happy holiday.
Hotel Casa del Balam: The price is right at this elegant downtown hotel, one of the few original Mexican art deco homes left in town. One hundred and seventeen dollars a night (during spring, winter and fall) gets you an air-conditioned room, wireless Internet, designer furniture, antique marble floors, lush gardens, and a courtyard dining just two blocks from Merida's main square. The hotel can help you celebrate the holiday or any special occasion with fresh flowers delivered to your room or a serenade by a traditional Yucatecan trova trio.
To search for flights and compare prices to Merida, please use our price-comparison tool.(Photo: Jolie Molino)
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