The Day of the Dead (El Dia del Los Muertos in Spanish) is something I was looking forward to. Under the (wrong) assumption that Uruguay would celebrate it in the same fashion as Mexico, I was excited at having planned November 2 as my first full day in Montevideo.
To my disappointment, when I decided to check with the hostel staff how the city would celebrate the occasion the reply I got was: “Uruguay doesn’t really celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos”.
No fear, though: Montevideo had a surprise stored for me!
While I was walking around Avenida 18 de Julio just after lunchtime on Nov 2, I noticed hundreds of people gathered outside the Intendencia Municipal. TV crews and police were everywhere too. I first thought that some sort of protest was going on, then someone pointed to me that the people in the queue (mainly teenagers) were having their make-up done. That’s when I realised that most of them looked like they were out of a zombie movie.
Zombies. Day of the Dead. Is this what’s happening, I wondered. But I decided to walk away.
Luckily around 5pm I was back in the same area and saw the crowd gathering in the middle of the street, then they started moving.
A Zombie Walk!
Avenida 18 de Julio soon turned into something out of a Hollywood movie: hundreds of people wearing incredible outfits and amazing make-up marched slowly, screaming at regular intervals. The walk lasted probably around an hour and ended outside a club, where part of the participants left. And l left too.
Back at the hostel, the staff explained to me that the Zombie Walk has been featuring in Montevideo only in the past 2-3 years but it’s quickly becoming very popular as a modern way to celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos.
I will leave you with some images of the event: