Battle of the Bands

In some of the towns outside of Oaxaca City, men spend considerable time, effort, and money making elaborate costumes for a Day of the Dead festivity called “Battle of the Bands.”

 The entire town comes out for a procession, as the local band plays and people dance in the streets.
After each song ends, folks walk  a little further down the road until the band starts again and people stop to dance all over again.

 The mood is happy and festive, and everyone comes out, from grandmothers to tiny children.

This continues until the throng walks halfway to the next town and meets up with their procession and band!  Each group plays louder and louder, vollying back and forth, trying to “beat” the other band…and this goes on until the wee hours of the night.

 This is a family oriented, community tradition that virtually everyone takes part in…with a fervor.  Witnessing this always ‘leaves me wanting’ for these rich traditions back at home.  To fullfill this desire, Mr. E. and I have decided to go down to Tucson next month, to take part in their Dia de los Muertos procession, reported by many to be a stupendous event of this nature.

 If you’re interested, you can check out the website,, or just show up in downtown Tucson around 5:00 on Sunday, November 6th.

For more stories and images to get you into the Dia de los Muertos mood, visit Rebecca.

~ by Dawn Elliott on October 22, 2011.

9 Responses to “Battle of the Bands”

  1. Nice pictures, it makes me feel like being there enjoying the music and dance.

  2. Oh that should be nice. I hope you and yours have a great time. It would be nice to go there one day. Nice photos. Have a wonderful day.

  3. oh dawn so glad you shared these photographs from oaxaca! i have thought for years about making a trek to tucson for their dia de los muertos procession….so much closer than oaxaca, and we created that dream so many times, maybe tucson is in reach!
    so glad you are going…are you participating or watching?

  4. Rebecca,
    We are most definately going to participate! I usually avoid crowds, but somehow I’m looking forward to the literal thousands of people who attend this event!

  5. This sounds like a wonderful outing and I’ll stop on the way home from WI where I’ll visit the Spados and their ofrenda. If only–

  6. Wow, how cool! Can’t believe how much I’m missing up here in the cold country. I just might have to rethink my retirement plans. Have a good time.

  7. What an incredible festival that the community partakes in! Nothing like it here.

  8. I misread the title of your post. I thought it said “Battle of the Birds,” for, indeed, the guy in the first photo looks like a giant red bird!

  9. What a time that must be! Family, friends, music and costume. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.

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