La Vaquería de las Ánimas: A Unique Celebration in Mérida, Yucatán

March 13th, 2024

This October 30th, Mérida dresses up in festivities and tradition with the exciting celebration of “La Vaquería de las Ánimas.” At 9:00PM, in the Bajos del Palacio Municipal, in the heart of the city, this reenactment and spectacle of traditional Yucatecan dance promises to captivate everyone in attendance.


La Vaquería de las Ánimas: A Tribute to the Departed

La Vaquería de las Ánimas is a unique version of this celebration that has been incorporated into the framework of the Hanal Pixán festivities. During this special evening, the souls of loved ones who have passed away return.

Candles and incense guide their way back to altars adorned with food and drink they once enjoyed in life. The spirits mingle among the living, interacting with those of us who still inhabit this physical world.

The event fills with color and joy during the “Baile del Cordón,” where ribbons of different colors are intertwined around a pole, creating a multicolored braid symbolizing the connection between the living and the departed. Traditional Yucatecan “bombas,” short and humorous verses, are also part of the celebration, filling the night with laughter and entertainment.

Its History:

The Yucatecan Vaquería is one of the most popular and beloved festivities in the region. With roots dating back to the colonial era, this celebration combines elements of the religious worship brought by the Spaniards with the beliefs of the Maya people. The event consists of three main components: the mass, the bullfight, and, of course, the dance.

Historically, hacienda owners organized these festivities as a way to thank the community for their economic contributions during the cattle branding season, known as “La hierra.” Today, vaquerías are an essential part of the patron saint festivities in Yucatecan towns.

The most representative Jaranas in the celebrations Yucatecan:

  • Aires Yucatecos
  • Chinito Koy Koy
  • Mujeres que se pintan
  • Ferrocarril
  • Mi hermoso Motul

Closing the Night: El Torito and Joy

La Vaquería de las Ánimas concludes with the thrilling “El Torito,” a jarana in which women simulate being bulls and attempt to knock down their partners. Applause, fireworks, and decorative flags that adorn the venue create an atmosphere of unparalleled celebration and joy.

Discover More About Yucatecan Traditions:

If you want to dive even deeper into Yucatecan traditions, we invite you to visit Yucatán Expone, an exhibition showcasing the most representative aspects of local culture. Here, you can learn more about Yucatán’s traditional festivities and explore the richness of its cultural heritage.

In La Vaquería de las Ánimas, culture and tradition come together in a spectacle that honors the departed and celebrates life in a unique way. Don’t miss out on this exciting experience in Mérida, Yucatán!

For more information on the city and its attractions, a good resource to check out is As noted above you can download their app “Visit Mérida mx” for Android and iPhone, available at:

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