Day of the Dead in PV

Old Sep 24th, 2002, 05:11 PM
  #1  
Mazzy
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Day of the Dead in PV

Another Puerto Vallarta questions for all you experts. I have always wanted to go to Mexico during the Day of the Dead festival. I may get my chance this year but it's looking like Puerto Vallarta. Is this celebrated here? Is there anything I can do to experience this tradition? Has anyone been there before during this time?

And on a side note, is there much "Day of the Dead" art for sale? What about Frida Kahlo prints?

Thanks again!
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 05:31 AM
  #2  
Sarah
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I was in PV over spring break in 1997. I'm not sure when the Day of the Dead is celebrated, but it seemed to last until March. People wore costumes and there were items to buy everywhere you looked. Hope this helps.
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 06:43 AM
  #3  
JRinPV
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Day of the Dead is on Nov 2nd. Altar exhibits at the Presidencia and parties at the graveyards
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 08:57 AM
  #4  
Sandy
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We went to PV during Day of the Dead years ago, and I still have strong memories of the event. We visited a graveyard that night--candles flickered everywhere, and many of the graves had families having late-night picnics of their loved ones favorite foods. There are edible Day of the Day treats in the stores, too, such as sugar skulls labeled with the name of dead loved ones, and what we came to call Dead Bread, a sweet bread shaped like a person. Very worthwhile, all in all; the kind of experience that stays with you. Lots of dead art, too, from block prints to sculpture (you can pretty much buy that year round).
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 12:01 PM
  #5  
Mazzy
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Thanks! Were you able to just wander in the "festivities" or did you go with a local family? I would love to see this but I want to know that it is okay to just show up, at say, a graveyard. Would this be considered intruding? I am very excited. Thanks for your help!
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 01:16 PM
  #6  
Susan
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Haven't been there for Day of the Dead but do know PV. The only cemetary I'm aware of is direct inland from around the Buenaventura Hotel. I've gotten there by walking & taxi. It is above ground crypts, many year round decorated and kept by families, and set up on a hill. I have been there during the day several times but not when any event was going on. There was a groundskeeper who definitely was aware of my presence but did not say anything (negative) to me.

Lots of Day of the Dead little statues and Kahlo cards and prints available year round.

As for intruding, I have been several times during the Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe (week before and up to December 12) and joined in those parades and festivities. Locals were friendly and I was (personally) amazed that very few tourists seemed even to know about it or else weren't interested in participating.

Realize none of this info exactly answers your questions, but maybe gives you a better feel for what to expect?
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 01:52 PM
  #7  
Sandy
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When we were there we skulked around the edges of the cemetery and no one seemed to mind. It was quite a sight.
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 02:03 PM
  #8  
costumes in March?
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I'm still trying to figure out why people would be in costumes in PV in March (re Sarah, the 1st reply). Anyone have any ideas about what this might be? Certainly isn't Day of the Dead 4-5 months late ;-)
 
Old Sep 26th, 2002, 04:45 PM
  #9  
Mazzy
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I really do appreciate your comments. I have always wanted to see Mexico during this festival. I was hoping it would be Oaxaca (sp?) but as chance has it I have a great oppurtuntity to go to Pv this time around (my first time). I am thinking of staying at Playa Los Arcos. Any comments about that hotel?
 
Old Sep 26th, 2002, 05:05 PM
  #10  
Susan
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For Mazzy regarding hotels...

If you choose Playa Los Arcos get a room that either looks over the pool or the beach (not on the street side because the rooms are dark and the street is noisy). There are sooo many hotels in (even just in the south side of) PV it's hard to know where to start.

Playa Los Arcos is adequate and a favorite for some folks, to me it's not special but it IS right on the beach, 3-sided with a large pool and restaurant in the middle. I believe they sponsor fiestas and other typical tourist activities.

Personally, on the same beach I'd also consider Tropicana and Molino de Agua.

If you're willing to stay a block or two from the beach &/or want a bit cheaper then I like: Casa Andrea, Hotel Eloisa, Posada de Roger, Hotel Alegre.

If you want to be up in town then Hotel Rosita or Cuatro Vientos.
 
Old Sep 26th, 2002, 09:18 PM
  #11  
Marilyn
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Mazzy -- I have been to Day of the Dead twice, once near Mexico City and once in Oaxaca. You should feel free to go to the cemetery in the evening and walk around.

This is a joyous day, in many respects, not as solemn as you might think. It is the day when the spirits of the departed return to spend time with the living. The families bring food and drink and the kids and hang out at the graves of their loved ones. You should obviously be sensitive and show respect if someone is grieving, but I think you will find more of a festival atmosphere in general. No one should object to you being there.

Do go before dark so you can see people putting out flowers and decorating the graves. My 2 experiences of Day of the Dead have been incredibly magical, highlights of my travels -- I will never forget the cemetery filled with flowers, people, candles, and copal incense.
 
Old Sep 30th, 2002, 04:45 PM
  #12  
Mazzy
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Thanks again everyone!

I am also checking on rates for Molino de Aqua.

For Marilyn - Do you think it is tacky to take photos of the festivities? Is this permisable? Have you taken photos?

Any other advice for me?
 
Old Sep 30th, 2002, 05:20 PM
  #13  
Molino de Agua
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Has 3 types/prices of rooms. Tiny cabins with 1 bed located along the pathway in the garden. Ocean "view" rooms which are a bit older but very nice, wooden buildings (if i remember correct) set back from the ocean a little, again in the garden near the pools. The -most expensive- ocean front suites, are large rooms with patios or balconies right on the beach and looking out to the ocean. In a two-story brick building nicely furnished, slate floors in these.

I think they have added one even newer wing, but I haven't seen those except from outside.
 
Old Sep 30th, 2002, 09:09 PM
  #14  
Marilyn
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Hoo boy, Mazzy, have we ever taken photos! My husband is a professional stereo photographer (that's 3D in lay terms) and actually has a show on Day of the Dead that has been shown at museums and photo conventions.

It is ok to take photos, but as always, be respectful. If you want a photo of a specific grave or the family, ask first. A questioning look and a gesture at your camera will overcome any language barrier. If someone wants some money for you to take a photo, pay it. If PV is anything like my 2 experiences, there will be plenty of tourists taking photos.

Do be aware that some of the most dramatic photos will be at night, so you may want some fast film (like 800 or 1600) or if you have a digital camera, no problem.

The only hassle we ever had taking photos was a French woman who berated my husband for photographing a Mexican family. After she walked away in a huff, the man of the family offered us a drink of his mezcal. So I guess he wasn't offended!

Walking around during the day people (complete strangers) actually invited us into their homes to see the offrendas they had created (and to photograph them). As I said before, it is more of a joyful fiesta than a solemn one, and then there are the kids running around in their Halloween costumes...one more cultural overlay.
 
Old Oct 1st, 2002, 11:35 AM
  #15  
Mazzy
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It sounds absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for the tips. I can't wait!
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 03:20 PM
  #16  
Mazzy
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Just a thought... Are there any interesting day trips outside of PV to see? I am thinking more of craft markets and cultural things vs jungle tours, etc.

Thanks again!
 
Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 06:45 AM
  #17  
JRinPV
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The only local 'craft' is making Raicilla.
http://vallarta-info.com/puertovallartafactsfables.htm
 
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 12:19 PM
  #18  
jeanie
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i have the same questions from the original post, but will be in isla mujeres. does anyone know if there will there be festivities to parttake in?
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 07:04 PM
  #19  
d
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I am not familiar with PV. However am a frequent traveler to Oaxaca. In regards to photos (at least in the Oaxaca region) this is a dicey issue, especialy outside of Oaxaca City, and photos of indigenous people should never be taken without people's permission.
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 07:36 PM
  #20  
Marilyn
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Our experience taking photos includes both cemeteries outside Oaxaca. We always gesture at the camera and ask if it's ok. Can't recall anyone saying no.

As I said in an earlier post, respect is fundamental, but I think many Americans do not understand that it's not so much like taking photos at a funeral, but more like taking photos at a festival. People are eating, drinking, kids running around in costumes, etc.
 
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