Boat parade to celebrate the Day of the Dead in Amsterdam

Boat parade to celebrate the Day of the Dead in Amsterdam

Oct 21, 2023
Various locations

The Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), on November 1-2, is a cherished Mexican holiday that centres around the remembrance of friends and family members who have passed away, allowing their spirits to live on through the memories of the living. During this time, families welcome back the souls of their departed loved ones for a brief reunion. UNESCO has bestowed recognition upon Día de Muertos by including it in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Watch the Day of the Dead canal parade

For the second year in a row, the Embassy of Mexico has undertaken the organisation of this festive boat parade in Amsterdam to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Watch the impressive, colourful parade with friends and family.

This year, the parade will take place on Saturday, October 21, from 3.30pm-5pm. During this spectacular event, boats adorned with traditional decorations navigate the canals of Amsterdam. Members of the Mexican community and volunteers will be onboard, brightly and elegantly dressed as catrines and catrinas, waving to passers-by.

Be a spectator on the streets of Amsterdam or follow along in a boat

Three main locations in Amsterdam have been selected as meeting points in which locals and visitors to Amsterdam will have the unique opportunity to watch the parade, take photographs and deepen their understanding of this unique celebration.

The designated viewing locations are:

  • OBA Public Library, Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam
  • Vijzelstraat 30, 1017 HK Amsterdam
  • National Opera and Ballet, Amstel 3, 1011 PN Amsterdam

It is important to emphasise that the organisers are not extending formal invitations for individuals to get on board the boats. Instead, they cordially invite you to follow along on your own boat, or observe the parade from the canal side and capture photographs at the predetermined locations.

The Day of the Dead in the Netherlands

This event aims at bringing the rich Mexican culture to the Dutch public, creating an opportunity for the Mexican community in the Netherlands to preserve their traditions and to share them with the people of the Netherlands with the goal of consolidating the parade as an annual cultural event.

Every year, parades are held all over the world to celebrate the Day of the Dead. These dazzling parades are celebrated every autumn in an increasing number of cities worldwide. This year, the Embassy of Mexico is bringing the tradition again to Amsterdam, with boats adorned with traditional decorations and playing traditional Mexican music. The festivity is an intrinsically multi-cultural phenomenon, resulting from the interweaving of pre-Hispanic and Western beliefs.

Navigating through the canals, there will be approximately 100-120 people on board “The Caravel of the Catrinas” and hundreds more will witness the boat parade from the streets and perhaps on other private boats that are welcome to follow along

Plan your Day of the Dead celebration in Amsterdam 

Whether you plan to be a spectator on land or in a boat with your friends, it's good to take note of the route of the boat parade, so you can make the most of the Day of the Dead celebration in Amsterdam. The event takes place in the city centre and therefore it's easy to reach by public transport or cycling.

Day of the Dead Amsterdam map


Boat parade to celebrate the Day of the Dead in Amsterdam