Hallowe’en? Overrated. For a far more inventive celebration of All Souls’ Day, lets turn to Mexico, and Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, the colourful holiday in which people pay respect to their dearly departed family and friends.
Fortunately, you don’t need to book a flight to Oaxaca, as there are a few events happening in London to mark Day of the Dead.
The Wellcome Collection
The Euston Road institution is hosting an all-day event on Saturday, 5th November, featuring skeleton dancers, storytelling and the chance to decorate sugar skulls and make an ‘ofrenda‘ to the dearly departed. 11am – 5pm, free.
We Don’t Speak Mexican @ The Book Club
At this hands-on event, visitors are asked to bring along a photo of a loved one who has passed away, and help build an altar using others guests’ pictures, Mexican hot chocolate, alcohol and more. There will also be a session on learning key bits of Mexican Spanish, and a film screening of short claymation film Down To The Bone (2001). Monday 7th November, at the Book Club in Shoreditch. 7pm-10pm, £5.
Hackney City Farm
At the city farm on Hackney Road they spent most of Sunday building an alter of ofrendas to those loved ones who’ve passed on. Go down there to add your own photograph to the collection, and maybe bring a morsel of food or a snifter of alcohol to tempt them back from the afterlife. Runs until November 1st.
The burrito slingers at Benito’s Hat are offering 50% off food for those in fancy dress on with painted faces. In the restaurants there’ll be some seasonal delicacies, including pan de muerto and chocolate sauce. Plus if you follow them on Twitter (@BenitosChat) you’ll find out how to get a stack of burritos delivered to your office by the ‘Karma Kar’, a Mexican-themed auto complete with sugar skulls and mariachi music. The offer runs until Wednesday 2nd November.
Notting Hill Arts Club
A special Day of the Dead club night at Notting Hill Arts Club, with specially curated visuals and (like several of these events) a shrine for people to bring objects to while you groove to the rumba rhythms. The night, hosted by Movimientos, brings in Latin American DJs from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and beyond. Tuesday 1st November, 7pm – 2am, £5 entry.
Nip down to Wahaca‘s new Azulito bar for a meal on Wednesday and you’ll get a celebratory glass of tequila. If Jose Cuervo Especial Gold is all you’ve ever tasted tequila-wise, be prepared for a treat: the bar has over 80 different varieties of the tipple in stock, all of them 100% agave. Offer available on Wednesday 2nd November only, across Wahaca’s five London locations.
Mexican Culinary Masterclass
Unfortunately, tickets for this celebration of Mexican cooking at Divertimenti on Tuesday night are sold out, but you can leave your email address and, if anybody cancels, you might be able to squeeze in.
Know of any other events? Drop us a line in the comments.