Mexican Halloween: Day of the Dead Comes to London

It isn’t as gloomy as it sounds. Really… The Day of the Dead festival -the Mexican equivalent to Halloween- is actually a colourful, vibrant celebration of lost, loved ones -whose spirits come to visit to enjoy food and music- rather than some ghoulish festival. So for those who are getting a bit over pumpkins, that’s a very attractive alternative, especially when it comes with tasy food and cocktails, some interesting arts and nightly concerts from the brilliant Rodrigo y Gabriela (who also performed for the Obamas at the White House, no less). The acoustic guitarists will bring their own instrumental blend of metal, jazz and world music to the four-day festival.

Chic-Londres saw Rodrigo y Gabriela, the rising stars of acoustic guitar, when they were headlining the wonderful Wilderness festival last August. And they are absolutely brilliant (and so does think Barack Obama, who got them to play at the White House)… So going to the four-day festival of music, food, art and film hosted by Mexican restaurants Wahaca, headed by TV celebrity chef Thomasina Miers, at The Old Vic Tunnels would be justified if only to listen to their uniqueinstrumental fusion style, blending metal, electronica and jazz. But there is more to be enjoyed, with the Old Vic Tunnels being  transformed into a little piece of Mexico, with Wahaca’s temporary street kitchen and mezcalaria bar, an exhibition of work by highly acclaimed Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, work by the eminent Mexican artist Dr Lakra, screening of Mexican classic Santa Sangre with performance of a new live score by the Cabinet of Living Cinema and late night revelry with Communion DJs. In addition to the night time shows, Saturday 3 November, families will be able to attend an array of traditional Day of the Dead children’s workshops on Saturday 3 November, with morning and afternoon sessions including storytelling and sugar skulls paintings.

“Wahaca presents Day of the Dead Festival” co-produced by NOMAD and the Embassy of Mexico in the UK, Wednesday 31 October-Saturday 3 November 2012

Photos: Thomasina Miers at the Old Vic Tunnels (above), some traditional Day of the Dead painted skulls and Rodrigo y Gabriel (below)