Xibalba is a yearly Mexican festival celebrating the Day of the Dead in Norway since 2015. Multidisciplinary international artists gather around the “Dia de Muertos” giving vibrant color to the city with live music, traditional dances, mouthwatering traditional cuisine, elegant traditional attire; a festival where stories are shared and grief intertwines with joy.
Xibalba is not merely a festival; it is an invitation to celebrate life, honor the departed, and embrace the cyclical nature of existence. Join us as we pay homage to the Day of the Dead—a profound, soul-stirring experience that touches hearts, celebrates tradition, and reminds us of the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.
Date: Last week of October and first week of November.
The Day of the Dead was declared by UNESCO Oral and Intangible Heritage of humanity on november 7 2003.
Our goals are:
- To preserve this Mexican celebration so new generations and other cultures can also enjoy it.
- Honor and remember departed loved ones with reverence and respect.
- Embrace the cultural traditions and customs surrounding the Day of the Dead.
- Celebrate the cyclical nature of life and death, acknowledging the beauty of existence.
- Foster a sense of community and connection among locals and visitors.
- Provide a platform for sharing stories, memories, and anecdotes about the departed.
- Create an immersive and joyful experience that blends art, music, food, and tradition.
Who are we?
We are a group of multidisciplinary artists looking to preserve the Mexican celebration “Dia de Muertos”.
Our facebook group is: MEXperience Norge
We also use the xibalba dødes dag or Mexican dødes dag names to to refer to our celebration.
The festival organizers have deep roots in the local community, tracing their origins back several generations.
Their passion for the Day of the Dead led them to establish the festival as a way to honor their own departed loved ones and share the rich traditions with a broader audience.
Through their diligent efforts, the festival organizers have preserved this cultural celebration in Norway since 2015, striving to maintain authenticity while also incorporating contemporary elements to appeal to a diverse audience.
Their unwavering dedication has transformed the festival into a highly anticipated annual event, drawing people from all corners of the world to experience the profound beauty and meaning of the Day of the Dead.
The musical elements of the festival are integral to creating a lively and festive atmosphere
While traditional music forms the foundation, modern interpretations and fusions with other genres are also embraced at the festival. Artists and bands might incorporate elements of jazz, rock, or electronic music, infusing the traditional sounds with a contemporary twist. This blend of old and new creates a dynamic and diverse musical experience, appealing to a wide range of tastes and generations.
We always have the collaboration of different dancers. These corporal expressions help to connect to the Aztec Mictlan or Mayan Xibalba.
Traditional Mexican dances, such as the lively Jarabe Tapatío (Mexican Hat Dance), often accompany the music during the festival. These dances involve intricate footwork, colorful costumes, and a mix of indigenous, European, and African influences, creating a visual spectacle for the audience.
These dance elements contribute to the overall beauty, cultural expression, and entertainment value of festival celebrations. Each dance style and cultural tradition may have its own unique elements that make it distinct and captivating for both performers and spectators.
The visual elements of a festival play a crucial role in creating a captivating and immersive experience for attendees.
- Decorative Altars: Elaborately decorated altars, known as ‘Ofrendas,’ serve as a central visual element in the festival. These altars are adorned with vibrant marigold flowers, candles, photographs of the departed, and personal belongings. The colorful and intricate arrangements create a visually striking display, reflecting the reverence and remembrance of the Day of the Dead.
- Papel Picado: Colorful papel picado, intricately cut-out paper banners, are a visual hallmark of Mexican festivals. These delicate and decorative banners are hung throughout the festival area, adding a festive touch. The designs often feature traditional motifs, such as skulls, flowers, and geometric patterns, enhancing the vibrant atmosphere.
- Traditional Attire: Festival-goers dressed in traditional attire contribute to the visual spectacle. Colorful dresses adorned with embroidery, ornate headdresses, and accessories like ribbons or feathers create a visually striking scene. The traditional clothing reflects the cultural heritage and adds authenticity to the festival’s visual tapestry.
- Skeletal Artwork: Artwork featuring skeletal imagery, such as the iconic Calavera Catrina figures, is a prominent visual element. These elegant skeletal representations, often dressed in elaborate attire, serve as a whimsical reminder of the cycle of life and death. Vibrant paintings, sculptures, or masks depicting skulls and skeletons can be displayed throughout the festival grounds.
- Vibrant Colors: Festivals like ‘Xibalba’ are known for their vibrant color schemes. Bright and bold hues, such as yellow, orange, purple, and pink, are prevalent. The use of vibrant colors can be seen in decorations, costumes, artwork, and even in food displays. These colors symbolize the celebration of life and create a visually dynamic atmosphere.
- Candlelight Processions: During the evening or nighttime events, candlelight processions provide a visually enchanting spectacle. Participants carrying flickering candles as they walk in procession create a mesmerizing display of light and shadow. The warm glow of the candles against the darkness adds an ethereal and reverential ambiance to the festival.
These visual elements come together to create a visually captivating and culturally immersive experience at ‘Xibalba.’ They showcase the vibrant traditions, rich symbolism, and artistic expressions associated with the Day of the Dead, allowing attendees to engage with and appreciate the visual beauty of the festival.
Food plays a significant role in enriching the festival experience by providing a multi-sensory and cultural aspect to ‘Xibalba.’
By incorporating traditional dishes, symbolic elements, interactive culinary experiences, and a sense of community, food becomes an integral part of ‘Xibalba.’ It not only satisfies appetites but also adds depth, cultural significance, and a delightful sensory experience to the overall festival atmosphere.
To build an atmosphere of “Mexican traditional tianguis” of some small town of Latin America, we invite handcrafts artists to color our celebration with their work.
It plays a significant role in enriching the festival experience by showcasing the artistic talent, cultural heritage, and craftsmanship of the local community.
By incorporating handcrafts into the festival, Xibalba’ celebrates the skill, creativity, and cultural significance of artisans. Handcrafted items not only beautify the festival environment but also serve as tangible expressions of local culture, fostering appreciation, and preserving the rich heritage of Mexican craftsmanship.