Economy behind the Day of the Dead

91% of those interviewed in Mexico claimed to have the habit of celebrating the Day of the Dead, according to a survey conducted Statista Research Department from October 2019 to March 2020. Day of the Dead It is celebrated on November 1 and 2, where offerings are placed to remember loved ones.

The National Institute of Indigenous Peoples considers that the offering is to share with the deceased the bread, salt, fruits, culinary delicacies, water and, if they are adults, wine. “Offering is being close to our dead to dialogue with their memory, with their life.

The offering is the reunion with a ritual that summons the memory ”. The offering is a cultural mix where the Europeans put some flowers, waxes, candles and candles; the natives added the incense with their copal and the food and marigold flower (Zempoalxóchitl).

The economy in the markets, supermarkets and small companies are reactivated with this Mexican tradition declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2008. Even the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Canaco) of Mexico City estimated an economic spill of 4,213 million pesos for this 2021.


One of the most representative elements of the Day of the Dead is the cempasúchil flower (originally from Mexico, it comes from the Nahuatl word Cempoalxóchitl and means flower with twenty petals). This year, more than 3.5 million cempasúchil plants were produced in the municipalities of Xochimilco and Tláhuac, the Secretariat of the Environment of Mexico City expects an economic spill of 152 million pesos.

Another element is the bread of the dead, a type of traditional sweet bread from Mexico, it is one of the most demanded foods during the dates close to the Day of the Dead. According to the Statista Research Department survey, 93.7% of the interviewees affirmed that they consume pan de muerto and 6.3% of the Mexicans surveyed declared not to follow this tradition.

The bread of the dead reactivates the economy of small and large bakeries, National Chamber of the Bakery Industry (Canainpa) estimates that sales will rebound at least 15 percent. Likewise, the bread of the dead generates activity for the producers of wheat, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, yeast, orange blossom, and other ingredients that are now placed in the bread of the dead, such as chocolate, creams, jams. Some companies are even creating concepts such as pan de muerto ice cream that can be tried at Morgana or at Lola y Coco. On Ice Cream Nation They put small pan de muerto in their ice creams and milkshakes as a topping. Tamallia has even created its version of Tamal de Muerto, a combination of the most representative flavors of this season.

Religious candles or tapers, commonly called candles in Mexico, are the most used items to decorate the altar of the dead. According to Statista Research Department, 79% of those interviewed said they included this type of candle in the Day of the Dead offerings.


Various companies have created drinks around the celebration, for example, Grupo Modelo launched Victoria Cempasúchil, the Bendito Amparo, Oro de Oaxaca and Señorío mezcals are creating experiences combined with the bread of the dead and the altars.

Even, Nestle boosted its sales through Nescafé café de olla version, through the campaign “The flavor that transports you”, with the aim that they include in their ritual that drink that brings to mind our grandparents. And Bodegas Torre Oria launched the concept of fairytale wines, with the Knock Knock version of Little Red Riding Hood, these are some of the examples of creativity that drive the economy.


The Day of the Dead also has a holiday bridge, where people take advantage of this space to go to festivities in various Magical Towns, monumental altars in Huaquechula and Tochimilco, trails with huge catrinas and musical presentations in Atlixco in the state of Puebla. Or visit Papantla in Veracruz, “The pilgrimage of souls”, or Xantolo, the celebration of Day of the Dead in the Huasteca Potosina.

Other options are to visit Mixquic in the State of Mexico, Xoxocotlán in Oaxaca, the Alfeñique fair in Toluca, Hanal Pixán in Yucatán, the Coco tourist route in Janitzio, Pátzcuaro, and San José de la Laguna.

The Magical Towns, hotels, restaurants, transport, seek the reactivation of sales with the Day of the Dead, for many of them it is considered the oxygen for their communities since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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