La Catrina has become an iconic part of the Day of the Dead since its modern rendition was introduced in 1910 by printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. Each November 2, students from the local preparatory high school in Chapala, Jalisco, set up dozens of elaborate altars for an entire block.

The altars are not for friends or family, but important figures out of Mexican history, from heroes of the Revolution to the slain American star Selena. Some well-known local business owners and personalities are also honored, along with some international people, such as Humphrey Bogart or Nelson Mandela.

Many of the altars come with students dressed as catrinas of the deceased, and several thousand people from Chapala and the nearby villages come to hear them recite their life story. Students get graded by teachers and winners are decided at the end of the night.

geometrical icon

A catrina in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos.
A catrina in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos.
For sale as a fine art print
Frida Garcia acting as painter Frida Kahlo on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco.
Frida García dressed as a catrina of Frida Kahlo on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
For sale as a fine art print
Catrín ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead
A catrín ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
For sale as a fine art print
A catrín ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead.
A catrín ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
For sale as a fine art print
Two kids as catrinas in the cemetery in Ajijic, Mexico.
Two catrines refuse to let you pass without first taking a photo on the Day of the Dead in Ajijic, Mexico. They were gathered with relatives, both living and dead, at the family plot in the local graveyard.
For sale as a fine art print
A young woman painted as a catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
A catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
A catrina holds a candle on the noche de muertos in Chapala, Jalisco.
A catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
A young woman poses as a catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, November 2, 2015.
A catrina in Chapala on the Day of the Dead.
For sale as a fine art print
Catrina on the Day of the Dead
A catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
For sale as a fine art print
A catrina in a contest for best catrina bride in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
A catrina in a contest for best catrina bride in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
For sale as a fine art print
A catrina in a contest for best catrina bride in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
A catrina in a contest for best catrina bride in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
For sale as a fine art print
Catrine on the Day of the Dead
A catrine on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
Catrine on the Day of the Dead
A catrine on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
A catrína ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead.
A catrína ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
A catrina in Chapala, Jalisco, on the Day of the dead.
A catrina in Chapala, Jalisco, on the Day of the dead.
For sale as a fine art print
Catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
These high school students from Chapala, Jalisco, spend the day of November 2 constructing altars dedicated to famous Mexicans.
A catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
For sale as a fine art print
A young man dressed as a catrine on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco. The catrina (feminine) or catrine has been a part of the Day of the Dead traditions since Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada created his 1910 etching La Calavera Catrina. The etching of a skeleton sporting elegant dress the catrina is not only an iconic part of the Day of the Dead, but one of Mexico's most identifying aspects.
A catrine on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
Catrina on the Day of the Dead
A catrina on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
A catrín ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead.
A catrín ballet folklórico dancer on the Day of the Dead in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco.
For sale as a fine art print
A catrine dressed as a revolutionary on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, November 2, 2014.
A catrine dressed as a soldier of the Mexican Revolution on the Day of the Dead in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
For sale as a fine art print