Hanal Pixan is the name for the festivities which take place in the Yucatan which are similar to the Day of the Dead celebrations throughout Mexico. However, there are some Maya additions to the 3-day holiday which are specific to the peninsula and reflect the history and culture of the Maya people.
Back in 2019, the archaeological site of Dzibilchaltún was used for the first time as a venue for the commemorative celebration of the Day of the Dead (Hanal Pixan).
The director of the Social, Cultural and Touristic Services in Yucatán (Cultur), Mauricio Díaz Montalvo, indicated that through a joint initiative with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the ancient Maya city opened for the first time, to add to the traditional activities and commemorations of Hanal Pixan.
These activities began with a large display of altars that will be placed in an open area right next to the museum that operates in this pre-Columbian settlement.
Several municipalities from the rural area of Mérida participated in the assembly of this exhibition, especially from the northern zone, which borders Dzibilchaltún, including the communities of Temozón, Sac-Nicté, Cholul, Temozón, Tamanché and Chablekal, among others.
“There was a great response from these communities to join this project, that will be carried out for the first time at this important and iconic building complex of the Maya pre-classic period (500 a BC), as is the case of the Temple of the Seven Dolls, where the Spring and Autumn equinoxes can be observed thanks to an archaeo-astronomical phenomenon,” said the state official.
An altar contest took place there, as well as a walk at dusk through the buildings at 18:30 hours, featuring a “soul walk”, with the participation of local residents from Temozón, Sac-Nicté, Cholul, Temozón, Tamanché, and Chablekal.
Finally, Maya priests carried out a ritual alluding to “Día de Los Muertos”, including several activities related to that traditional commemoration.
The archaeological site of Dzibilchaltun remained closed for several months during the pandemic, then re-opened for a while, but it has been shut down the last three months over land property disputes and protests from locals who claim they must receive part of the money collected in admissions to the site.
Source: El Universal