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Mexico

Mexican religious practices and the surprising day of the dead festival

During your trip to Mexico it will not take you long to realise the importance of the role played by religion in the daily lives of Mexicans. In each town, on each square you will find a cathedral and superb churches . Fans of this type of visit will be in paradise.

Religion on a daily basis

On discovering the number of cathedrals and churches, as well as their superb and often richly-sculpted facades, you will quickly understand during your trip to Mexico that religion plays a very vital role in the daily life of the population. These people are very fervent believers and you only have to attend one of the religious festivals while you are here to be convinced of this. The simple Sunday mass attracts an enormous amount of people.

Even if their numbers have fallen back slightly in recent times, 88% of the population is Catholic and represents the huge majority part of religions in Mexico. At the other end of this a little over 7% are Protestant, Jews represent a symbolic 0.05% of the population and between 3 and 4% claim to be atheist. Adventists, Mormons and Jehovah's witnesses are more numerous with each passing year.

One point in particular concerns the whole of Mexico and that is the devotion of the Mexican people to Our Lady of Guadalupe. This black Virgin became the patron saint of Mexico as early as 1737 and in light of the fervour that she aroused, the Church named her patron saint of the whole of Latin America in 1910.

The Santa Muerte

Day of the dead festival

Called la Muerte, la Catrina or la Flaca, Mexicans entertain a peculiar relationship with death . There is even a day dedicated to it . Thus, every year the 2nd of November gives rise to one of the country's most spectacular festivals. In each house is installed an altar where offerings are deposited. Families then go to the cemetery where big picnics are organised. The festival goes on all night in candlelight. This festival is really typical of Mexico and you really should not miss it if you are in the country at that time of year.

David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 17 November 2015

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