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Where To Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos In London

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Where To Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos In London

Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead if you like) is sometimes seen as the Mexican version of Halloween. Actually it's rather more complex than that. It stems from ancient indigenous Mexican belief that at midnight on 31 October, the gates of heaven open and the spirits of deceased family members come to enjoy the celebrations for the first two days of November.

Whether you buy into that or not, it's a great excuse to wear face paint and drink tequila. Here are the best events in London honouring the tradition...

Photo: Malingering

Barrio Soho

Barrio Soho promises a tequila-fuelled party of Aztec proportions. The music is a mashup of Latino, funk, soul, hip hop and R&B. Basically all the good stuff. Tickets are £10. 29 October, 8pm-2am

Dark Circus

Attempting to marry Day of the Dead traditions with awe-inspiring stunts this year is Dark Circus. Held inside an 'abandoned circus', expect to be shocked and amazed at what the performers pull off, and be ready to join in with the traditional procession led by a mariachi band. Sign up for a tequila masterclass before the main party kicks off. Tickets start at £35. 29 October

Luster make-up workshop

Probably the most recognisable facet of Dia de los Muertos is the stunning and spooky face paint designs. It might be hard to imitate these precise patterns, which is where Luster come in. They're running a make-up workshop helping you perfect your look, at Blondies bar in Clapton. Tickets are £35 and come with a free bloody mary. 29 October, 1pm-5pm

Previous celebrations at Barrio Soho

Queen of Hoxton

Just Juice are hosting a carnival special party at the Queen of Hoxton. They're bringing in Chimpo and Madam X to provide the music, so hit up the mezcal and go wild. Tickets on the door. 29 October.

Rich Mix

Run by London's premier storytellers Crick Crack Club, this one promises to be a treat. Storytellers this year are Nell Phoenix, Tim Ralphs and Clare Muireann Murphy who'll be honouring the glorious dead. There's food and drink as well. Tickets are £8 on the door, £6 in advance. 1 November, 8pm

El Camion

Restaurant El Camion in Soho is putting on a special vegetarian Dia de los Muertos menu. Each of the five courses will be paired with a different cocktail and there's another drink included on arrival. Tickets £45. 1 November

Things kicking into gear at Dark Circus

Mestizo

One of our favourite Mexican restaurants in London, Mestizo has a special menu for the festivities. This should be a real treat. 1-2 November

Café Pacifico

Café Pacifico — AKA the UK's first ever Mexican restaurant — is throwing an epic fiesta for Dia de los Muertos. They've brought in a live mariachi band, face printing and a traditionally constructed altar where you can honour the dead. This will be followed by a procession around Covent Garden, led by the mariachi band. Then there'll be a chance to win £100 and a free bottle of tequila at the end of the night. Reservations are strongly advised. 2 November

Three Six Six

Three Six Six in Battersea have created a special cocktail to honour this year's Day of the Dead. They've dubbed it "La Ofrenda de Espolon", which translates as Espolon's altar. Designed by their Mexican mixologist Eduardo La Mora, it tries to sum up the festival within a drink containing tequila and marigolds. 26 October till 3 November

Wahaca

A huge three-day Dia de los Muertos festival is happening in The Vaults in Waterloo, courtesy of Wahaca. There's a food market each day including all sorts of Mexican food and the area will be filled with Mexican art. There's even a lucha libre wrestling show in honour in some of the fallen great lucha stars from years gone by. Each night will include performances from live bands (some all the way from Mexico) and DJs. The food market is free but you'll need tickets to the night time festivities, which are £25. 3, 4 and 5 November

For those of you who still don't quite understand what Dia de los Muertos is, maybe this scene from Spectre will jog your memory:

Let us know what you're getting up to this year, in the comments.

Last Updated 11 November 2016