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Day of the Dead: Where to Celebrate Day of the Dead in the Big Apple  blog image

Day of the Dead: Where to Celebrate Day of the Dead in the Big Apple

September 12 2022

Halloween is one of the biggest and most popular holidays throughout the lower 48 – especially here in New York. If you’re looking for something different from the traditional Hallows Eve offerings, Day of the Dead celebrations are becoming increasingly popular throughout the city.

The Day of the Dead (or Día de Los Muertos in Spanish) is a traditional holiday celebrated in Mexico, between the 31st of October and the 2nd of November – with the biggest celebrations usually taking place on the 1st of the month.

The DOTD celebrates the lives of friends and family who have died – traditionally by building Altars with offerings for lost loved ones, visiting graves with gifts, and sharing gifts and baked treats (such as pan de Muertos) with family in friends in the “living” world.

Bowl of guacamole on a table, with hand dipping tortilla chip inside, day of the dead flowers and a drink are also on the table

But how can you celebrate in New York?

New York has a large Mexican population, meaning more events pop up year after year - and after a hiatus over the past 24 months, these are shaping up to be the best events in NYC this Día de Los Muertos:

End of the Harvest: Día de los Muertos Lunch

Located just over an hour from the Hotel Beacon, the NEEC is hosting its own Day of the Dead lunch to celebrate the end of the harvest. The event was first launched in 2009 and has been celebrated ever since, offering food, drinks, and live Mexican music. Tickets start at $20 per person and should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Men and women dressed in traditional day of the dead clothing, with traditional headwear, dancing under palm trees

Dias de los Muertos Family Day

Want to know more about the true meaning behind the DOTD and the traditions behind it? Green-wood Cemetery is in Brooklyn, just over 30 minutes from the Hotel Beacon using public transport. The cemetery hosts a DOTD event on the 2nd of November, with free entry to all visitors – but reservations are recommended. Enjoy arts and crafts, food, and drinks, and learn more about the true story behind the DOTD.

Story Time with Susie Jaramillo

Have young children? Books are Magic is hosting a bilingual storytelling event this Halloween/DOTD for children to celebrate both festivals, with the Halloween-themed book “Skeletina”. The book follows Skeletina on her journey through the “in-between world” and is heavily influenced by the traditions of the DOTD.

The Hotel Beacon is located in the heart of the Upper West Side where you can find some of the best Halloween decorations in the city and where you’re just minutes away from the most popular DOTD events in Manhattan – the best of both festivals.