Mexico is so much more than tacos and margaritas (although both of those are pretty awesome) and over this weekend, you'll enjoy just some of what makes Mexican culture so interesting. With an emphasis on Mexican cuisine, folklore, history, customs, Day of the Dead celebrations, dance, music, bright costumes, and mariachis, it promises to be a fun event for all ages.
The festival is held to coincide with Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead festivities - a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico over 3 days from 31 October to 2 November. It's a time when family and friends gather to honour and remember their deceased loved ones, with the idea that spirits return to be together with those still living. As death is viewed as a natural part of life, Mexicans view this holiday not as a day of sadness, but as a day of celebration.
During the celebrations, graves are visited and decorated with flowers. Altars are set up, using food, drinks and other items loved by the departed to encourage their souls to return and join in the fun. In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
So over this weekend at the beautiful Flagstaff Gardens, a little bit of Mexico comes to Melbourne. Join in the fun and dress up - you can even get your face painted on the day in the traditional sugar skull style of Day of the Dead celebrations.
Authentic Mexican food is vibrant, delicious, fresh and spicy. Beans and corn are staples with corn used to make tortillas and tamales, and both featuring prominently in many dishes. Plenty of delicious food will be available on the day with over 20 Mexican and Latin American vendors providing a wide range of street foods to tempt you. Think salsa, guacamole, tacos, empanadas, enchiladas, tamales, burritos, and fajitas and just follow your nose. There will also be a fully licensed Margarita bar serving over 5 different styles of Margaritas and other alcoholic beverages. Icy cold cerveza anyone?
There will be stalls with local and imported Mexican and Latin American handcrafted products for you to browse and maybe pick up a gift.
Entertainment will be provided by Mariachis, folk musicians, live bands, dancers and DJ's performing throughout the 2 day event. For the kids, there will be a range of activities. Don't miss the colourful Day of the Dead parades that will be held at 4pm and 7pm on both days and join in the fun.
With plenty of shade and open areas, grab a picnic rug and your family and friends and settle in for an afternoon of Livin la Vida Loca!