This year’s Day of the Dead celebrations in the Mexican coastal city of Puerto Vallarta were like no other.
Those visiting the Faro del Malecon, one of Puerto Vallarta’s landmarks, witnessed a Mexican tradition that continues making history.
A huge calavera catrina was unveiled during the town’s annual Day of the Dead Festival, rising above the city’s skyline at 22.67 m (74 ft 4.87 in) tall.
With this elegant and feminine skeleton-like figure, the city of Puerto Vallarta achieved the Guinness World Records title for the tallest calavera catrina on 2 November 2022.
Still in place today, it continues to catch the attention of locals and visitors.
It took the city of Puerto Vallarta over a year to ideate and build the catrina. The project was led by local artist Alondra Muca.
Alfredo Arista, official Guinness World Records adjudicator, was onsite to oversee the attempt and present the certificate.
The monumental structure is made of metal and fiberglass.
A team of seamstresses, carpenters, florists, architects and designers worked together on the and ensured it reflected the colorful Mexican traditions around the Day of the Dead.
The catrina's blue dress with marine elements pays homage to the Pacific Ocean.
The statue's fingernails, which are the size of an adult’s forearm, were hand-painted and decorated with images of fish, shells, and manta rays.
The catrina was the highlight of this year’s citywide Day of the Dead festival, an event where the local community come together to remember loved ones who have passed away.
During the festival, Puerto Vallarta’s streets were decorated with painted sugar skulls and the air is filled with aromas of copal, incense and palo santo.
Local families display altars and visit the cemeteries to honor their loved ones who are already deceased.
The calavera catrina will be on exhibit for one week.
Once dismounted, the fabric used to create the catrina’s garment will be donated to local seamstresses and dressmakers.
The previous world record for the tallest calavera catrina was 18.77 m (61 ft 7.17 in) achieved by the Municipio de Zapotlanejo, Jalisco (Mexico) on 1 November 2015.
Here are other Day of the Dead related world records:
- Largest bread mosaic (image): 206.44 m2 (677.29 ft2) by Ayuntamiento de Zacatlán, Mexico, on 30 October 2022. The mosaic featured the image of a catrina.
- The largest day of the dead altar: 1,044.30 m² (11,240.75 ft²) by Gobierno del Estado de Hidalgo (Mexico) on 1 November 2019.
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