Two holidays converge soon in Yucatán: The traditional Hanal Pixán, and the more commercialized Noche de Brujas — Halloween.
In several shops downtown both holidays are evident. Pumpkins, masks and candy skulls proliferate.
Some adults defend the Mexican tradition as others embrace costumes and trick-or-treat. But both celebrations appear to co-exist happily side-by-side.
Ana Maria Aguilar Herrera, who runs the shop D’Todo Barato on Calle 60 just off the Plaza Grande, said in a news article that she expects a 50 percent increase in sales this season. Children’s Halloween costumes are the biggest sellers, and popular decorations evoke ghosts, monsters and vampires.
In the corridors of Lucas de Galvéz market, women are selling xpelón, masa and chicken ready for the Hanal Pixán, or Day of the Dead.
Maria Uicab Canul told Diario de Yucatán that she is not afraid that the “gringa” tradition will cost them customers. There is room for both Halloween and the tradition of remembering the dearly departed with an altar.
The xpelón, masa and chicken sold at the market goes into another Mayan traditional dish sure to keep youngsters interested Hanal Pixán: The savory Muk-bil Pollo of All Saint’s Day. This Yucatecan tamal pie is filled with a highly seasoned mixture of chicken and pork and cooked underground, wrapped in a banana leaf. It is accompanied by a cup of jicara hot chocolate.
The trader at Lucas de Galvéz was less optimistic than the Calle 60 merchant about this year’s sales. But said she hoped that economic setbacks would not cause customers to buy less for the holidays, whichever one they are celebrating.