Benalmádena has had a small but significant link with Mexico for years. No, it is not because there is a twin town there but, rather, because of the legacy of Cuban-Mexican artist Felipe Orlando, founder of the town's renowned Precolumbian museum;the only one of its kind in the Andalucía region.
It is no secret that one of the most popular traditions of Mexican culture and one that has spread throughout the world is that country's particular way of understanding death as a more festive, joyful concept.
In order to remember the death of Orlando (in 2001), his widow, a Benalmádena local who also worked in the museum, had an idea: to erect an altar in his house to honour him; something that shortly afterwards was transferred to the museum itself, where in 2005 an altar was built for the Day of the Dead, not only to remember him, but also to be open to the residents of the municipality to leave their offerings or simply to get a little closer to this culture.
This curious tradition, in which several Mexican groups in Malaga province also contributed their bit, became increasingly popular until, in 2017, the Precolumbian museum decided to go further. The now popular parade of Catrinas and skulls in commemoration of the Day of the Dead was born.
A festivity that once again filled the streets of Benalmádena with colour, music and dance last Friday with hundreds of locals (especially families and children) and people from the area who dressed up in costumes and make-up to enjoy a novel activity.
It began with a small dramatised show in Benalmádena Pueblo's Plaza de las Tres Culturas, to explain some of the details of this Latin celebration to spectators. The afternoon then continued with mariachi music, the parade and floral offerings.