Mexico City kicks off its annual celebrations ahead of the Day of the Dead with a parade to honor ''La Catrina,'' an iconic Mexican skeletal figure. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Mexicans donned costumes and face paint on Sunday (October 23), disguising themselves as the iconic Mexican skeleton figure known as "la Catrina" or "Elegant Skull" and flooded the streets for a pre-Day of the Dead parade. The Catrina was created by Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852 - 1913), a Mexican cartoonist illustrator and artist whose work has influenced many Latin American artists and cartoonists because of its satirical acuteness and political engagement. The parade took place days before the Day of the Dead, a pre-Hispanic tradition in which families remember their dead and celebrate the continuity of life. Mexican set up offerings to the dead which include photographs, food, candles, flowers, personal items, skulls made out of sugar, skeletons of paper mache and sweets. One participant said the event was important to make Mexican traditions stand out. "Well, it's a part of Mexican culture. It's a tradition that is being lost, as it's hard to compete with Halloween. The costumes is part of returning to our traditions, and that's why we brought our kids to share in this," said Edith Gonzalez. The November 2 "Dia de Muertos" or All Souls' Day interweaves Spanish influences with indigenous ancestor worship in South America, especially in places with strong indigenous populations such as in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.