Paseo de las Ánimas. Photo; Punto Medio

El Paseo de las Ánimas, the wildly popular street procession that marks Hanal Pixán, or Day of the Dead on Nov. 2, is dead this year.

Gone too are the display of altars which have traditionally lined Merida’s Plaza Grande, to honor the dead.

But the General Cemetery, which is traditionally fixed up and visited by families during for Hanal Pixán, will remain open to the public.

City officials are preparing a set of protocols to keep the experience safe during the pandemic, according to local media.

The Archdiocese of Yucatán announced that masses will not be held in the cemetery, as is customary, due to the health emergency.

Markets will open Nov. 1 and 2 to sell the traditional products that are used to prepare mucbilpollos, as well as fruits, vegetables and sweets that are placed on the altars of Yucatecan families.

The Day of the Dead tradition blends Catholic rituals with the pre-Hispanic belief that the dead return once a year from the underworld.

Elsewhere in Mexico, many cemeteries are closed and the celebration is expected to be generally subdued.

The celebration has been driven back into private homes, where the faithful build altars adorned with photographs of the deceased, marigolds, candy skulls, paper-mâché skeletons and chocolate coffins. The dead are also offered their favorite food, pastries, tequila and cigarettes, or whatever might entice them to return from the underworld.

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