What is la Catrina?

One of the strongest and most recognizable symbols of Mexico’s “The Day of the Dead” celebrations is the tall female skeleton wearing a fancy hat with feathers. Her name is La Catrina and the essence of her story goes deep into Mexican traditions and roots.

Mexicans dress up as “Catrina“, a Mexican representation of death, as part of the Day of the Dead celebrations. The character of La Catrina was created by cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada, famous for his socio-political criticism and illustrations of skeletons or skulls. It is one of the most famous icons of Mexican culture. Famous artist and husband of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, immortalized La Catrina in one of his murals that depicted 400 years of Mexican history.

On Saturday November 1 and Sunday November 2 the first Katrina Fest was held in San Jose’s China Town. According to the organizers of the event’s purpose was to familiarize Costa Ricans with Mexican culture.

The event was attended by hundreds of Costa Ricans and was a complete success. I really enjoyed this activity as did many expats who were there.

Fourteen Mexican restaurants had booths for savoring a variety of traditional dishes. In addition, there were 24 more stands selling all kinds of handicrafts, Mexican dolls, and cookies in the shape of a skulls. There was even one booth where women could get there face painted to look like a Catrina.

Music filled the air and there was even a special tribute to the late José José, one of Mexico’s most famous singers.

Expats are encouraged to attend next year’s event.