While we still love the pumpkins, bizarre costumes and Hollywood horror films that inevitably arrive with every Halloween, there's something just a little bit cooler about celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead instead.
This 3,000 year old festival is an official holiday in Mexico, and the three days between October 31st and November 2nd are dedicated to remembering friends and family who have passed away. However instead of being a solemn event, El Dia de Meurtos is a celebration of life - and this means colourful sugar skull costumes, delicious dinners and lots of tequila. What are you waiting for? Crack open those face paints and get stuck in.
Embrace art and tequila with Jose Cuervo and the Mexican Embassy
The world's oldest tequila brand have partnered up with the Mexican Embassy and Arte Mexico to bring the authentic Day of the Dead experience to London. Fortunately for us, they haven't gone as far as renting out a graveyard - the 3 day extravaganza is being held at the Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf instead. Guest can look forward to a contemporary art exhibition featuring the likes of The Chapman Brothers, Graciela Iturbide and Juan Jose among others, tequila masterclasses (using Jose Cuervo, ofcourse), film screenings of the 1984 classic ‘Under the Volcano, and plenty of seasonal margaritas.
For those too young to enjoy the booze, there's also a series of children's arts and crafts workshops including mask and skeleton making. Book early though, as we guarantee these will sell out fast!
Open Thursday 30th October - Sunday 2nd November
The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH@oxo_towerwww.oxotower.co.uk
Take the traditional route with a supper at El Nivel
Mexican tapas restaurant and specialist Agave bar El Nivel are embracing the traditional celebrations of great food and reconnecting with friends by hosting an intimate supper. Guests can enjoy a seasonal three course meal paired with exclusive mezcal and tequila cocktails on communal tables, giving you a chance to chat and socialise. The restaurant will be decorated with candles, flowers and even a mystical Day of the Dead alter for a hint of spookiness too.
Saturday 1st November
El Nivel, 28 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7JS@elnivel_londonwww.elnivel.co.uk
Sip on margaritas at the House of Wolf
North London's favourite apothecary bar is shunning Halloween and embracing the haunted Mexican holiday instead with a Dia de Muertos
party on Friday night. All the key ingredients will be there: a Mairachi band, margaritas, House DJs and a whole lotta tequila. Grab yourself a flower garland, we'll see you at the bar.
Friday 31st October
The House of Wolf, 181 Upper Street, Islington N1 1RQ@houseofwolfwww.houseofwolf.co.uk
Dabble in Mexican wrestling at the Red Gallery
London's latest creative club night collective Once Upon a Time have taken over the Red Gallery in Shoreditch for a unique Day of the Dead Launch party. For one night only, lucky guests can enjoy three rooms of entertainment including a themed photobooth, dress up box, Mexican wrestling, frozen margaritas and street food, suitably edgy DJs and a mariachi band. They'll even paint a sugar skull on your face if you can't be bothered to organise a costume, so you've no excuse not to go.
Saturday 1st November
Red Gallery 1-3 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DTwww.redgallerylondon.com
Try a morbid cocktail at Las Iguanas
Latin American restaurant chain Las Iguanas have concocted two creepy cocktails for the occasion - the Mortos Vivos
, and the Day of the Living Dead
. The Mortos Vivos
, an excellent combination of cachacas, amaretto, apricot liqueur, lime, pineapple, passionfruit, angostura and rum (phew!) is served in a flaming glass skull, while the Day of the Living Dead
is bound to wake even the most stubborn skeleton with Olmeca Tequila, Absinthe, maraschino, agave and lime.