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Déjà-vu: Mexico City stages Day of the Dead Parade

Mexico City has staged its first ever Day of the Dead parade – inspired by the latest James Bond film “Spectre”.

Photo: Reuters/Carlos Jasso
Photo: Reuters/Carlos Jasso

It’s been a year since the latest James Bond film “Spectre” opened in cinemas across the globe. It begins with one of the most spectacular opening sequences of the whole film series: Bond is chasing an assassin through a glamurous Day of the Dead parade before embarking on a wild helicopter ride at and over famous Zócalo Square.

Beside being beautifully featured in the film as a location, Mexico City now decided to stage its own Day of the Dead Parade inspired by James Bond. Funded by the government and advertised by the Tourism Board, the parade is part of the annual Day of the Dead celebartions which usually begin on 31 October.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

The procession, starting at the Angel of Independence monument and ending at the historic Zócalo square, saw hundreds of volunteers and was designed to “revisit the props and the wardrobe of the well-known film Spectre,” the city government said in a statement ahead of the parade. Tens of thousands of spectators crowded along Mexico City’s Avenida Reforma to watch floats featuring skeletons, traditional dances and musical groups.

“When the film hit the big screen and was seen by millions and millions of people in 67 countries, that started to create expectations that we would have something,” said Lourdes Berho, chief executive of the Mexico Tourism Board. “We knew that this was going to generate a desire on the part of people here, in Mexicans and among tourists, to come and participate in a celebration, a big parade.”

The idea has paid off. The colorful spectacle was like a déjà-vu experience for many who had tried to catch a glimpse of the action when “Spectre” was filmed in the capital back in March 2015. Additionally, the traditional Day of the Dead celebrations got enriched by another fantastic event in the festival schedule and will surely attract more tourists in the upcoming years.

Parade Bond: Junkanoo in “Thunderball” (left), Carnival in Rio in “Moonraker” (centre) and Day of the Dead in “Spectre” (right)

“Spectre” was the third James Bond film to incorporate a traditional parade. “Thunderball” (1965) was partly shot during a Junkanoo parade in the Bahmas. Junkanoo is celebrated as a street parade with music, dance, and costumes of Igbo origin in many towns across the Bahamas every Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day (January 1). In 1979, Roger Moore was thrown into the equally spectacular carnival procession in Rio de Janeiro in “Moonraker”. To capture the magnificent parade, scenes of the festival had already been shot on location the year before.

Benjamin Lind

Author: Benjamin Lind

Benjamin Lind became a James Bond fan at the age of 15 and has since closely followed the production of every film since 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. Apart from writing about Bond, he is a founding member of the James Bond Club Germany and holds a position as advisor in its executive committee. In 2016, Lind released a charity documentary film entitled 'A Bond For Life - How James Bond changed my Life' in support of UNICEF.

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