Festival of Life and Death Traditions 2016

At the 11th edition of the Festival of Life and Death Traditions, Xcaret Park gathers traditions from the Yucatán Peninsula and the Mexican state of Puebla to enrich the event with customs and culture of different regions of the country.

The Festival honors the souls, celebrates the symbolic moment where life becomes death, and represents how the dead return during these days to spend time with their loved ones at a reunion that happens every year. With lighted candles that show them the way to the afterlife, the farewell is given, but not before the altars with offerings are set and presented to them (Bix del Hanal Pixán).

You’ll live traditions like this each day of the Festival. From the opening until the last day you can feel and absorb all the ambiance of an event named Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.


Xcaret has prepared a wide variety of artistic expressions, which during the four days of the festival, will take you on a journey through the traditions of the Day of the Dead and Mexico’s beliefs about it.


Folkloric ballet, pre-Hispanic dance, traditional rituals and banquet dances.


Pre-Hispanic expression, monologue, scenic assembly, puppet show, sketch, narrative theater, clown show and multidisciplinary theater of Don Ignacio López Tarso.


Traditional Charanga, marimba, multi-piece orchestra, jaranera band, “terrock” for kids, traditional music, trova from Yucatán, and, of course, Lila Downs.

Expositions, exhibitions and workshops:

More than 60 altars, with and without food sales from Quintana Roo, Puebla, Yucatán and guest institutions, plus four interactive workshops.


Experience a truly gastronomic delight with traditional food from Yucatán that can only be enjoyed during these days, like the Ts’o, a white turkey or chicken stuffing, and the Mucbipollo, a type of really big tamal, stuffed with chicken, wrapped with banana leaf and cooked underground.

Special Guest

As the special guest this year, Puebla presents a wide variety of dances alluding the Day of the Dead, each one with a different theme about death, telling stories of tragedy, comedy and drama, ranging from town narrations to legends and myths performed through dancing, rituals and parties.
Puebla will share with you 11 culinary demonstrations, 27 traditional altars and a lot of paintings and photographic expositions showcasing how they live the Day of the Dead every year.

Gala Concert

Lila Downs is coming to Xcaret, to the Festival of Life and Death Traditions 2016!
“Bullets and Chocolate”, Lila Downs’ concert, is also the name of her new album, in which she sings about hope and a better future for everyone. The performance is based on Day of the Dead themes and the festive cosmogony the Mexicans and Latin Americans have about death. This album has the collaboration of two important musicians, Juanes and Juan Gabriel, who contribute with their great talent to Lila Downs’ project with the same feeling of fraternity that she preaches.

How can I get to the Festival?

You can come in your own car as the Park features free parking lot facilities. If you come by bus, ADO buses offer you special departures from Cancun and Playa del Carmen during the Festival (from October 30th to November 2nd). Xcaret park is located on the Chetumal – Pto. Juárez Highway km 282 in Playa del Carmen.