Festival del Mucbipollo in Mérida, Yucatán: A Gastronomic Tradition

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

As the Day of the Dead approaches in Yucatan, so does the delicious tradition of the mucibpollo or “pib”. This regional dish is iconic of the Hanal Pixán festivities, since it is only made and consumed in the Yucatan Peninsula. The pib has its origin in the Maya culture and the word “mucbi” means “something that must be buried” and “pib” is the earthen oven. Pib is a large round or square tamale and is prepared with corn dough, tomato, lard, chili, bell pepper, onion, epazote and beans known in Yucatan as espelón. It is stuffed with chicken or pork. Traditionally it is wrapped in banana leaves and buried for a few hours in an underground earthen oven, although today many people cook it in their home ovens. 

In anticipation of this time of Hanal Pixan, the sixth edition of the well-known “Festival del Pib” will take place this year on Sunday, October 29th, in the Barrio de San Sebastián on Calle 72, between 75 and 77, in the historic center of Mérida.

The event will run from 8am until 8pm and will feature a total of 16 exhibitors, each offering around 100 “pibes” with a variety of ingredients.

Henry Eduardo Cetina Cámara, the president and coordinator of the event, pointed out that the traditional “Entierro de pib” (burial of the pib) will also return, taking place on the grounds of a nearby school. This provides an opportunity for people to learn about the tradition of preparing “pib,” which is still very much alive in the municipalities of Yucatán.

He also mentioned that “Pan de muerto” (Traditional Day of the Dead bread), typical candies, ice cream, “Xec” (a Yucatecan Mayan salad), and various snacks will be on sale for the enjoyment of both tourists and locals. Additionally, people from Maxcanú will come to sell the regional “jícama,” dish which is a beloved treat during this season.

Festival del Pib Prices:

Similar to the previous edition, the regular “pib” will cost $700 pesos per tray and $90 pesos for an individual piece. However, there are also specialty options available, including “pib de castacán” (pork rind), “pib de mariscos” (seafood), “pib de relleno negro” (black stuffing), “pib de jamón y queso” (ham and cheese), or “pib de lomitos” (pork loin). The prices for these specialties will be around $800 pesos, depending on the type of specialty.

We invite you to fully immerse yourself in the rich tradition of Hanal Pixán and participate in all the exciting activities we have prepared for you. Experience Mayan culture to the fullest!

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

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