Monarchs Return for the Day of the Dead

Enjoy the Sticks & Bones Trail at Quinta Mazatlán through Nov. 14 in McAllen. Advance tickets and timed-entry are required on two of the five visitation days, Thursday afternoons and Saturdays. Courtesy photo

The annual celebration of Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not as spooky as it sounds. It is a celebration of life, beginning on the eve of Oct. 31 until its culmination Nov. 2. It is a vibrant and colorful celebration; it is not about fear or sadness, but the return of the souls of friends and family—when the dead are welcomed with colorful costumes, food, drinks and celebration.

A special aspect of this holiday is the monarch butterfly, or “Quetzalpaplotl,” which return every year and the native people believe them to represent the souls of family and friends rising from heaven. Like the early 19th century painter and cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada and his reenvisioned Mictecacihuatl, an Aztec goddess as a female skeleton recognized today as La Catrina, the refuge shares with you “She’s Smiling” by artist Rene Lopez on the trails of Quinta Mazatlan. Artist Cele Castillo created another art installation called the “Butterfly Lady” in honor of the fall monarch migration, which coincides with the monarch descending on Michoacán, Mexico in time for the Day of the Dead festivities.

Like the Monarchs migrating to Mexico, make your journey over to Quinta Mazatlán to celebrate life and remember your loved ones. The Sticks & Bones Trail is up through Nov. 14 during park hours, Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 pm and Thursday nights until 7:30 p.m. For extra health measures, advance tickets and timed-entry are required for Thursday afternoons and Saturdays only.

Please visit for your tickets.

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