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The Mexican traditions of the Day of the Dead are so exceptional that even Pixar made a film in honor of them. And recently, the tallest Calavera Catrina in the world for the Day of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta was recognized by Guinness World Records. There are also Hollywood blockbusters that include them somewhere in the film, such as the epic start of 007 Spectre, which starred Daniel Craig as the famous spy James Bond.
The opening scene takes place in the center of Mexico City, where a great parade is taking place to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Although our traditions are not exactly depicted as accurately, this introduction to the film perhaps popularized the idea of making catrinas and skulls of monumental sizes.
Over the years, gigantic Calavera Catrinas have been constructed so large that they have become worthy of entering the Guinness Book of World Records. At different points in Mexico, groups of artists join efforts to create these colossal figures. Until recently, the record-holding Catrina was made in 2015 in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco, whose height was 61.58 feet.
Among the many Puerto Vallarta events and traditions of the Day of the Dead, some include decorating the famous Puerto Vallarta Malecon and putting altars of the dead around the former City Hall. In recent years, some hotels put large catrinas along the boardwalk, where they are appreciated by thousands of tourists who visit this beach town during those dates.
But never has any Calavera Catrina as big as this one ever been made. This 74.37-foot-high Catrina made it into the Guinness World Records a few days ago. After more than a year of planning and a lot of work, the tallest La Calavera Catrina was erected in Puerto Vallarta.
This great work of art was inspired by the legend of “La Llorona” and more than 50 craftsmen participated in its elaboration and assembly. The group was led by the plastic artist Alondra Muca, who painted the face of the Calavera Catrina.
Although the most important thing was its huge size which earned its entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, the work proved even more imposing in its design and beauty. This huge Calavera Catrina was dressed in a long and elegant blue dress, which opened to reveal one of its legs, giving it a touch of original flirtation.
The head was crowned by a large round hat, adorned with colorful flowers and palm leaves simulating feathers. On its face, there were a pair of red roses on its forehead and chin, and pink flowers where its ears would be.
In addition to the Mexican mega catrina, you’ll find a series of smaller ones about 4 ft tall or so that are painted with themes allusive to Puerto Vallarta and the beauty of the sea along the boardwalk. Fish, octopuses, turtles, and other sea creatures were visible in several of them.
Some others were constructed in honor of the countries whose tourists visit us, such as the United States, England, Spain, Colombia, Germany, and, of course, Mexico. Catrinas dressed as deceased celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Elvis Prestley, Marylin Monroe, and The Beatles were also displayed.
These figures were complemented by English-style phone booths, motorcycles, and classic cars. The malecon was filled with passers-by who were amazed by these colorful and cheerful representations of death and life through the Day of the Dead celebrations.
As anecdotal data, only three days after the installation of the great Calavera Catrina in Puerto Vallarta, it was announced that another slightly larger catrina had been placed in the Iztapalapa delegation of Mexico City.
The controversy broke out immediately because Puerto Vallarta authorities had already announced that the city would win a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. With the news of La catrina in Izatpalapa, the rumor began to circulate that the Puerto Vallarta record had lasted only 3 days.
Although Iztapalapa's was a few centimeters higher, Puerto Vallarta's city council reported that the catrina installed in the port was the only one registered to compete and met all the necessary guidelines to obtain the record.
On November 2 at 7:00, the official measurement of the Puerto Vallarta La Calavera Catrina was measured by a representative of the Guinness World Records, who confirmed the record of the tallest La Calavera Catrina in the world.
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