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Come and Share our Celebration of Two Special Traditions: Halloween and Day of the Dead

Get Ready To Be Spooked this Halloween! 

Halloween is a special time of year with long traditions. Here at Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta we are getting ready to transform our beautiful preserve into a scary atmosphere to celebrate this special holiday with our valued guests and members. The main event will be our Spooky Trolley.  

Daily our guests of Garza Blanca and Hotel Mousai have access to our well-known Trolley, which transports them around the resort to allow easy access between the properties and this method of transport allows them to admire the natural beauty of the surrounding jungle.  

On October 31st, the trolley will be transformed into a “spooky” but fun family experience complete with Halloween decorations and eerie music. Guests will scream as spirits from the underworld visit the Preserve and come towards them dramatically turning it into an atmosphere of terror. This year we are expecting to be visited by several zombies, the exorcist, and the grim reaper. Mexican legends La Llorona and Charro Negro, the black horseman, will also make a special appearance! Be warned that the zombies may attempt to climb onto the trolley, so be prepared for moments of fear, adrenaline and extreme emotion! 

The Spooky Trolley is a unique offering from Garza Blanca and Hotel Mousai and is completely free for guests. The meeting point will be the Garza Blanca Lobby with departures at 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 pm.  

At the final part of the terrifying trolley journey to meet the dead, guests will get chills as they walk through a dark and haunted corridor.  

For guests wishing to make the most of Halloween with a an exquisitely frightening dinner experience, after walking through the haunted corridor
guests will be taken to a spooky location for a special Buffet of Terror. The buffet is optional and included with the all-inclusive plan. The cost for European plan guests is USD $35 with a special discount for kids under 12. 

The Buffet of Terror includes: 

  • Wizards & Witches soup 
  • Swamp Leave and Vampire Eyes Station (Salad bar) 
  • Potions and Spells Station (salad dressing and bread assortment) 
  • Monster and Worms Hot Station: (risotto, fish, chicken, beef steak and pork tenderloin)  
  • Terror Dessert Bar 

Halloween Kids Club Activities

During the day we also have some great activities planned at the kids club so make sure you bring your little ones to participate.  The schedule is as follows:

10:00 am – Spooky face painting 

11:00 am – Make your own skull 

12:00 pm – Family Jack-O Lantern carving contest 

1:00 pm – The Night Before Christmas Movie 

3:00 pm – Spooktacular masks making 

4:00 pm – Trick or Treat around Garza Blanca 

The Origins of Halloween and Day of the Dead 

Halloween began with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain celebrated on 
October 31st. Celts believed that on this night the doors that separated the worlds 
of the living and the dead were opened allowing the spirits of the dead to visit 
earth. During this festival, they held a big feast in anticipation of the deceased 
relatives who were thought to visit on this day, and they set a place for them at 
the table. It wasn’t only the good spirits who were thought to return, but mean spirits too and people wore costumes to masquerade as fellow spirits and confuse
the ghosts. 

The Celts considered their new year to be on November 1st since it was the end of 
the harvest and the start of a long, cold winter that inevitably brought death. The 
festival was held on the night before their new year, October 31st. Later Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saints Day and adopted some of 
the traditions of Samhain, perhaps attempting to replace the Celtic festival with 
a church holiday. 

Halloween is a festival dedicated to spookiness and darkness that includes costume wearing, trick or treating, carving Jack-O Lanterns and eating sweet treats. Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, coincides with the dates of Halloween. This is a multi-day holiday that takes place from October 31st to November 2nd and while the theme revolves around death, it is considered a happy occasion because it is a time to remember loved ones who have died and the idea is that only during this holiday the souls of the dead can re-awaken and crossover from the land of the dead to the land of the living.   

While the belief of both celebrations is that on these days a door is opened for the souls of the dead to come back and visit the earth, the attitude towards these spirits largely differs. At Halloween, the spirits that visit are thought to be unwelcome and feared while in Mexican culture they are believed to be the spirits of beloved family members. While the concept differs from HalloweenDay of the Dead shares the beliefs of the original Celtic Festival that dead relatives come to visit the earthly realm and while the Celts used to set a place at the dinner table for the dead, here in Mexico they visit graveyards and bring offerings.  

The origins of this celebration date back hundreds of years to the Aztec tradition and was originally a festival to celebrate the Queen of the Underworld,
 Mictecacihuatl and her husband Mictlantecuhtli. After the Spanish conquest, this tradition was incorporated into the Catholic traditions and became the Day of the Dead as we know it. Today, the Queen of the underworld is represented by Calavera Catrina, a finely clothed skeleton that features in many paintings. 

The Day of the Dead traditions include building special commemorative altars called ofrendas that are decorated and covered in marigolds. Friends and relatives honor the deceased by bringing items such as candles, incense, confetti, photographs and flowers to their graves. They also place offerings on the altars which are things that their loved ones enjoyed in life such as their favorite foods, perhaps some liquor or cigars. Sugar skulls are another common element that feature on the altars as well as a sweet bread called Dead Bread (pan de muerto) and it is only made around this time of year. All these items have significance; the food and drinks offer sustenance to the visiting dead giving them enough energy to return to the underworld, while the candles light the way for the souls to return home. The flowers are a sign of love and respect and the photographs form a tribute. 

To honor this beautiful tradition, Garza Blanca Preserve and Hotel Mousai, are planning a tribute for those who “are no longer with us” and is offering an exhibition of altars in different locations at both hotels. Each department of the hotel is responsible for the assembly and decor. These altars can be found from November 1st to 3rd

Day of the Dead Kids Club Activities

The kids club will also be honoring this tradition with some special festivities on November 1st. The schedule is as follows:  

10:00 am – Sugar skull face painting 

11:00 am – Marigold flowers 

12:00 pm – Let’s set an altar 

1:00 pm – Movie Coco 

Celebrate with Us

We invite you to come and celebrate two wonderful traditions. Come and get spooked this October 31st with our spooky trolley followed by a special buffet of terror and from November 1st to 3rd come to view our magnificent altar exhibition, where you can live the Mexican day of the dead experience. We hope to see you there!

Don’t Miss Out! Day of the Dead Festival, Events Listings, Puerto Vallarta, 2019 

This comprehensive listing of events is being put on by the Municipal Government of Puerto Vallarta together with El Puerto Que Queremos (The Port We Want), Dirrecion de Turismo (The Tourism Board) and Cultura Puerto Vallarta.(Vallartense Institute of Culture). 

0ctober 25th

Art exhibition and Party in Pilita’s street.
Free entrance!
Live Performance of the children’s Mariachi ’Raiz Jaliscience’. Costume contest for the best catrin or catrina. Altars of the dead, handmade Skulls and art exhibition allusive to death.
Art Vallarta, 213 Pilitas street (Romantic Zone)
From 6pm to 9pm

October 31st

Exhibition of Altars of the Dead By the Union of Urban Property Owners of Puerto Vallarta. A.C.  
Square of lturbide Street, downtown  
All day 
 
Altars of the Dead Exhibition.  
Exterior corridors of the Presidency (Malecon) 
All day  

Exhibition of Catrinas and Catrines in palm trees/Exhibition of Altars of the Dead (This exhibition will be from October 31st to November 11th) 
Malecon 
All Day 
 
Skulls exhibition “Mexicraneos”.  
Main Square  
From 10:00 am to 10:00 pm 
 
 
Theater play “Night of the Alebrijes” by Georgina Escobar 
“Art Vallarta” 213 Pilitas street (Romantic Zone)
1:00 pm 
 
Workshops: confetti, paper flowers, crowns, offerings and skulls.  
Main Square  
From 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm  
 
Official opening of the Day of the Dead Festival 2019
Live Performance of the children’s Mariachi “Raiz Jaliscience” / Fragment of the play “Coco” 
Malecon (in front of the lighthouse)  
6:00 pm 
 

Storytelling “Myths and Legends of the Port”.   
Main Square  
From 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm  
 
Presentation of the pianist Ivan Zamora
Los Arcos Amphitheater  
8:00 pm  
 
Malecon walking parade “The Charra Death ” 
Starts at the Malecon and concludes at Los Arcos Amphitheater  
9:00 pm 
 

November 1st

Altars of the Dead Exhibition.  
Exterior corridors of the Presidency (Malecon) 
All day  

Day of the Dead display (made of sawdust).By CUCosta University 
In front of Los Arcos Amphitheater (Palm zone) 
All day 

Interactive Pantheon (Exhibition from October 31st to November 11th)   
Main Square  
All day 

Guided engravings in the interactive Cemetery 
Main Square  
From 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Workshops: confetti, paper flowers, crowns, offerings and skulls.
Main Square  
From 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Storytelling “Myths and Legends of the Port”.   
Main Square  
From 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm  
 
Exhibition of Catrinas and Catrines in palm trees/Exhibition of Altars of the Dead (This exhibition will be from October 31st to November 11th) 
Malecon 
All Day 
 
Parade of living Catrines and Catrinas 
By the Cecytej School 
Hidalgo Park, IPEJAL field (in front of the stadium) 
5:30 pm 
 
Festival of Altars by Cecytej
Altars of the Dead exhibition, Mexican celebration with food stalls, folkloric ballet presentations and living exhibition of catrines and catrinas. 
IPEJAL field in front of the stadium 
6:00 pm to 11:00 pm 
   
Day of the Dead 2019 Festival 
Las Palmas Main Square 
6:00 pm to 10:00 pm 
 
Tasting of dead bread 
Lazaro Cardenas Park 
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm  

Performance of Janet with Saxophone 
Los Arcos Amphitheater 
7:00 pm 
 
Performance of the Folkloric Ballet Tradition 
Los Arcos Amphitheater
 8:00 pm 
 
Folkloric ballet Xiutla 
Presentation allusive to death 
Lazaro Cardenas Park 
8:00 pm to 9:00 pm 
 
Day of the Dead 2019 Festival 
Las Mojoneras Main Square 
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm 
 

November 2nd

1st Free Tour with Tourist Guide 
Explanation and Review of the Day of the Dead 
Cemetery on 5 de diciembre street (5 of December)  
9:00 am 
 
2nd Free Tour with Tourist Guide 
Explanation and Review of the Day of the Dead 
Cemetery on 5 de diciembre street (5 of December)  
10:00 am 
    
3rd Free Tour with Tourist Guide 
Explanation and Review of the Day of the Dead 
Cemetery on 5 de diciembre street (5 of December)  
12:00 pm 
 
Presentation of Mariachi and live singers 
Cemetery on 5 de diciembre street (5 of December)  
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm  

4th Free Tour with Tourist Guide 
Explanation and Review of the Day of the Dead 
Cemetery on 5 de diciembre street (5 of December)  
1:00 pm
  
Street party at Los Muertos Brewing  
Presentation of artists, live bands and mariachi 
Constitution Street in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood  
From 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm 
  
Traditional Parade ‘Death is Alive 
From Cemetery on 5 de diciembre street (5th of December street) to Lazaro Cardenas Park 
5:00 pm 
 

November 3rd

Exhibition of Altars of Dead By the Union of Urban Property Owners of Puerto Vallarta. A.C.  
Square of lturbide Street, downtown    
All day 
 
Altars of Dead Exhibition
Exterior corridors of City Hall  
All day 
 
“Panolt” Day of the Dead Circuit Altar of Dead Exhibition, guided tours, monologue and various art workshops
Hidalgo Park  
All day 
 
Mural art “Tribute to Death’ 
Outer fences of the Cemetery on 5 de diciembre street (5th of December street) 
All day 
   
Interactive Pantheon (Exhibition from October 31st to November 11th)   
Main Square  
All day 
   
Workshops: confetti, paper flowers, crowns, offerings and skulls.  
Main Square  
From 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm  
   
Performance of the Salty Paw Jazz Combo Orchestra 
Los Arcos Amphitheater 
6:00 pm 
 
Performance of singer All Lopez 
Los Arcos Amphitheater 
7:00 pm 
 
Performance of Folkloric ballet traditions 
Los Arcos Amphitheater 
8:00 pm 
 
Performance of a musical show by the ‘ALAS’ School 
Los Arcos Amphitheater 
9:00 pm 
 
Performance “Mictlan” 
Performance of the pre-Hispanic dance group Tlalocan 
Lazaro Cardenas Park 
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm