Festival of the Dead comes to Edinburgh


A hanging sugar skull face set the mood at the Usher Hall

The Halloween extravaganza is back as the Festival of the Dead returns to the capital. But what is it all about?

Day of the Dead, or ‘El Dia de los Muertos’ is a Mexican celebration, where those who have died are remembered and celebrated. In order to honour those who have departed, special foods and beverages are prepared as family and friends gather to pray and share anecdotes, photos and memorabilia.

The Christian multi-day holiday begins on the 31st of October, where people believe that the spirits of the dead visit their families. It ends on the 2nd of November when the spirits are believed to depart again. Although the tradition is now celebrated by Mexicans from all religious and ethnic backgrounds, it is originally a reaffirmation of indigenous life. 

Today the Day of the Dead traditions have spread all over the world, with some people in other countries outside Mexico, choosing to celebrate this instead of other events such as Halloween. For example, ‘The Festival of the Dead’, a touring festival in the UK. 

This weekend ‘The Festival of the Dead’ was held in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. The one-day event took place on Saturday, and many were dressed as is typical for the Day of the Dead festivities, with sugar skull faces. Those who were not already dressed for the occasion could get their faces painted at the event.


Pyrotechnics lit up the main stage


The array of enthusiastic performances paired with the vibrant, impressive stage decorations and a mix of Latin classics and techno beats gave the night more of a party vibe rather than a religious celebration.

To find out what Bryce Arthur thought of Saturday’s event check out: Day of the Dead Festival: Desecrated, for your pleasure

By Iona Young




  1. […] For a less ranty explanation of the event, see Iona Young’s overview here: https://en4news.com/2018/10/02/festival-of-the-dead-comes-to-edinburgh/ […]

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