Mexico City honors earthquake victims in Day of the Dead parade | News | DW | 29.10.2017
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Mexico City honors earthquake victims in Day of the Dead parade

Hundreds of colorful skeletons and costumed dancers have taken part in Mexico City's Day of the Dead Parade. The celebration paid tribute to rescue workers and victims of recent earthquakes around the country.

Mexico City's second annual Day of the Dead parade began on Saturday afternoon with a float honoring rescue workers who searched for survivors following last month's devastating earthquake.

Men, women and dogs who participated in the rescue efforts followed the float — a raised fist made of helmets, pick axes and rubble — greeted by cheers and calls of thanks from the crowd.

Mexiko: Skeleton figure on a horse (picture-alliance/AP Photo/ E. Verdugo)

The parade honors the dead and celebrates life

The raised fist was the signal given by rescue workers calling for silence to hear if people were trapped under collapsed buildings caused by the September 19 earthquake.

"We had an obligation to pay tribute to the fallen, while transmitting the message that the city is still standing," parade coordinator Julio Blasina told the Associated Press.

Recent earthquakes across Mexico killed nearly 500 people, with 228 killed in the capital alone.

Hundreds of massive skeletons, dancers and musicians processed along the 4 mile (7 kilometer) parade route on the Paseo de la Reforma. Local media reported that around 300,000 people attended this year's festivities, compared to 200,000 last year.

Inspired by James Bond

Sponsored by Mexico's tourism and culture ministries, the parade was three-times the size of last year's first parade. The parade was inspired by a Day of the Dead parade in the opening sequence of the 2015 James Bond film "Spectre."

Although Mexicans usually celebrate Day of the Dead from November 1-2 in quiet ceremonies in cemeteries, town plazas and at home, the popularity of the Bond film prompted officials to put on the parade.

Still, the parade's organizers emphasize that the event isn't simply a reproduction of the Hollywood sequence.

"The point of this parade is to celebrate life," said Anima founder and Artistic Director Alejandra Gonzalez Anaya. "It's to put on the radar of Mexicans an important tradition ... so we feel proud of showing something so important from Mexico to the world."

rs/ng   (AP, Reuters)

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