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El Pan de la Catrina, a Feast of Traditions and Flavors


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A festival where locals and visitors gather to admire the charm and mysticism of the Day of the Dead

 Tecate, Baja California shares the color and excitement of traditions in Mexico, in a celebration that honors those who have passed on, where catrinas of every size take to the streets, filling them with joyful commotion.

With all thoughts of borders erased, locals and foreigners join together with the souls of those who have left us, in an artistic, cultural and gastronomic experience.

Bread and La Catrina,
Two Elements
of Mexican Culture

Two iconic symbols are central to one of the most important traditions celebrated on the Day of the Dead practically everywhere in Mexico.

 La Catrina, a highfalutin female skeleton created by illustrator José Guadalupe Posada as social satire in the early XX century, strolls through the streets of this Magical Town in all her finery, to remind everyone who sees her that death is part of life and everyone is equal in its eyes.

Bread of the Dead,
Ancestral Meaning

En honor a los dioses prehispánicos se realizaba el tzompantli, un altar con cráneos humanos de quienes fueron sacrificados.

Today, bread of the dead is used in its place, to honor those who have passed away and delight them during their overnight visit back from the world of the dead.

The Festival Pan de la Catrina brings Tecate’s bakers together for a competition and exhibition that displays the creativity and inspiration behind the surprising flavors and colorful decorations on the bread of the dead, which, by the way, represents the cardinal points on the Aztec calendar and is dedicated to the gods Quetzalcóatl, Xicotepec, Tláloc and Tezcatlipoca.


A Festival That Keeps
Traditions Alive

From late October through the first couple of days of November, the smell of bread of the dead fills the streets of Tecate.

That distinctive aroma announces the most anxiously awaited season for lovers of good food and traditions: the holidays in honor of the dearly departed. Bread of the dead is, unquestionably, one of the protagonists of this celebration, treating the taste buds to a typical taste of the region and the incomparable spongy texture that goes with it.

During your culinary visit, you will want to taste different bread of the dead flavors, such as squash, guava, mezcal and traditional bread. Ingredients are masterfully combined by local restaurants and bakeries to produce flavors and presentations that are so creative you’ll be enthralled just seeing them. Corazón Azteca, Esencia de Salvia and Como Caído del Cielo, are just a few of them.

What to Expect at the Festival
El Pan de la Catrina

You can have the best bread of the dead in the region at a cultural event that includes live music, theater, dance and art.

Included on this year’s schedule of events are orchestra and folk dance performances by the Orquesta de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and the Ballet Folklórico Nacional, respectively. Plus, if you are into sports, you can take part in a running race.

There will be workshops for children, callejoneadas (wandering minstrels in the evening), choral singing, votive candle lighting and a parade of catrinas through the streets that ends in the Parque Miguel Hidalgo, where most of the altars and cempasúchil flowers (marigolds) will be displayed.

Dying of Hunger?

One competition is called Al Gusto de la Catrina, or To Please the Catrina’s Taste Buds, where every bakery has their season’s bread of the dead for you to taste, together with a thematic latte known as El latte de la catrina or The Catrina’s Latte.

The Catrinas’ Night

Participating restaurants serve special dishes at a thematic dinner on the scheduled day, with a music, dance or theater performance while you eat.

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