London’s Day of the Dead, Kidical Mass and London Cycling Campaign’s Tower Hamlets Wheelers have collaborated to have our first skeleton cycle ride.
Arrive at 11am at Arnold Circus for a 40 minute cycle ride finishing at Columbia Road for the Day of the Dead festival. The attire is skeletal, bright and with flowers. Day of the Dead or Dia de los muertos is a joyful celebration of remembrance when the dead return to the land of the living to be treasured and loved. Flowers are used to guide the dead back to the land of the living.
We invite you to join us.
About London’s Day of the Dead Festival
11am London’s first Day of the Dead bike ride will leave at 11am from Arnold Circus. Returning to Columbia Road at 12.30pm. Attire skeletal, floral and bright. Book at the Beauty Parlour between 10am to 11am here.
12pm Day of the Dead Beauty Parlour opens at Breathe 57 Columbia Rd Get the look! – hair and make up.
12pm Mexican food and drink
12pm A shrine will be created by Gloria Sabrinia Martinez Espinosa
12.30pm Day of the Dead Yoga -rattle your bones – prompt start at 12.30pm at Ezra Street. Join us
2pm Procession with the Mariachi, Colour Walk People, and the chevy and coffin from The Bird Cage. Join us
3.00pm The Black Swan Border Morris dancers will dance summoning up the spirits with themes of rebirth & death.
Columbia Road in East London will celebrate Mexican Day of the Dead on Saturday, 28th October 2023 from 12pm onwards.
The Mexican… is familiar with death. [He] jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it. It is
one of his favourite toys and his most steadfast love.
– Octavio Paz: ‘The Labyrinth of Solitude’
Mexico’s Day of the Dead is, despite its name, a joyful celebration honouring the passing of loved ones. On
this day, it is believed that the spirits of the ancestors return.
About the Event:
Columbia Road is famous for its flower market, and flowers are an intrinsic part of this annual celebration.
Flowers such as marigolds decorate the outside of houses and help the dead find their way back to the land of
the living. They also represent the transience of life. In collaboration with local florists, Columbia Road shops
will be decorated with flowers. Shopkeepers will be dressed in suitable attire. Expect a Day of the Dead beauty
parlour, Our Fabulous Female Mariachi, The Colour Walk People, Mexican skeleton dogs and Border Morris
The festival is based upon the Pre-Columbian cycle of life and death, and the Christian Festival of All Hallows’
Eve is still celebrated in many parts of Europe. It was the syncretism of two distinct belief systems, Christianity
and Pre-Columbian religions, five hundred years ago that led to this unique celebration. The Pre-Columbian
Festival is over 3000 years old.
All Hallows’ Eve was also celebrated in Britain in the 8th Century. Its origins were in the Celtic festival Sainheim.
This festival marked the end of the harvest season in Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.
Cattle were brought down from the summer grazing fields, and the livestock was slaughtered for Winter.
Bonfires were lit, and the fires were considered to be cleansing. The festival took place at Liminal Time. At this
time of year, it was believed that the boundary between our world and the other world was more porous,
allowing the ancestors to move easily between the two. Feasts were had, and the souls of kin were beckoned
to attend. A place at the table was set, and favourite food was served. Costumes were worn and were a way
of imitating and disguising those that wore them who was often heard to recite poetry and verse.
Meet at Arnold Circus at 11am.