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 an 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. Here are the best events in London honouring the tradition...
Dia de los Muertos 2019 events and parties in London
ICING CLASSES: Biscuit icing geniuses Biscuiteers run icing workshops at their Battersea and Notting Hill cafes. Spend two hours learning the tricks and techniques they use, and leave with a box of sugar skull biscuits you've iced yourself. Battersea: 24 October/27 October/30 October. Notting Hill: 6 October/9 October/20 October/30 October.
CARNIVAL PARTY: Troxy's Festival of the Dead party always sells out in advance, so get in quick if you want a spot. It has something of a carnival atmosphere, with acrobats and dancers, giant skulls and skeletons in procession, plus piñatas and professional face painting. 19 October
CASAMIGOS AT OBLIX: Oblix at The Shard pairs up with tequila and mezcal brand Casamigos for a sky-high Day of the Dead party. The venue is transformed for the evening, with live entertainment acts roaming, make-up artists on hand, and a photo wall to capture those costumes. Casamigos cocktails are available all evening, and a DJ keeps the tunes coming until the early hours. 1 November
PATRÓN TEQUILA: If anyone knows how to celebrate a Mexican holiday, it's Patrón Tequila. The drinks brand takes over a six-storey Soho townhouse for three days of themed artworks, iconic characters of the Día de Muertos parade, a tequila education experience and plenty of cocktails. Mexican artists Lourdes Villagomez and Lola Argemi fly into London to take part. 1-3 November
DARK CIRCUS PARTY: Bourne & Hollingsworth's The Dark Circus Party is an evening of immersive entertainment including traditional circus acts. Look out for fire-breathers, stilt walkers and burlesque dancers, as you sup on potent cocktail creations. Skeletal face painting is also an option, and fancy dress is taken very seriously. 2 November
DAY OF THE DOG: Croydon bar Mr Fox opens its doors to pooches and their owners for a Mexican-themed Day of the Dog event. Expect mariachi music, piñatas full of dog treats, calavera (skull) face painting for humans, Mexican food and drink, and a mini dog show. 2 November