A major celebration in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is gaining in popularity around the world, including here in New Zealand.

Taking place between October 31 and November 2, the Day of the Dead is a joyous occasion that honours and celebrates the souls of lost loved ones. The lively festivities include colourful parades, iconic sugar skulls, ubiquitous marigolds, fanciful costumes and vibrant face painting.

Whether you want to frolic in an extravagant costume or enjoy a mouthwatering margarita, we've found the best locations to celebrate Dia de los Muertos around the world, with help from Booking.com.

Canberra, Australia

Head across the ditch to Canberra, Australia, to enjoy the atmosphere and vibes of the Day of the Dead Fiesta, taking place on Saturday, November 10 from 2pm. Filled with friendly celebration of dance, art and music, the Fiesta will be followed by an after party at the Smith's Alternative, where revellers can enjoy Afro Latin Vibes. Get ready to embrace a jam-packed day (and night) of fun.

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Where to stay

Stay at one of the best-rated hotels in Canberra, the Little National Hotel. This luxurious hotel is located within the Realm Precinct, so guests can relish beautiful views of the city and the Parliament House. The hotel also offers bike hire – an easy way to look at the city from a different perspective.

San Diego, California

A couple celebrates the Day of the Dead in San Diego. Photo / Getty Images
A couple celebrates the Day of the Dead in San Diego. Photo / Getty Images

Due to its location right next to the Mexican border, San Diego plays host to numerous Day of the Dead celebrations. Starting as early as October 20 with the Sherman Heights Día de los Muertos and lasting through until November 2 with the 21st Annual Día de los Muertos Festival at the Art Centre, celebrations are traditional with ofrendas, altar blessings, sugar skull decorating, music, folk dancing and traditional food. After a very successful first year, the North Park Festival is coming back to San Diego and promises to be bigger and better than its first outing. Head to Ray Street to attend this free family event on Saturday, October 27.

Where to stay

Stay at Harbor View Inn, located just along California's Pacific coastline. Not only a well-positioned option to help you get out and explore the city, the inn is less than one minute away from the beach. Guests can also enjoy a full-service on-site spa experience at Spa Beaumontia, as well as the on-site fitness centre and the poolside bar and grill. In short, the inn offers the ultimate in luxury and comfort – an ideal choice for when you need to recover from late night celebrations on Ray Street.

Mexico City, Mexico

What better place than Mexico City to celebrate the Day of the Dead? While there are festivities all over the country, the capital is the epicentre with parades, street parties, exhibitions and more. Visit the Zocalo (the main square) on Saturday, 27 October, which is packed with traditional shrines made with the holiday's signature bright yellow marigolds.

Where to stay

When looking for the best spot in Mexico City, it's hard to look past The W Mexico City. The hotel is centrally located and close to many popular attractions in the trendy Polanco neighbourhood. Luxury boutiques, art galleries and museums can all be found within close proximity of the hotel, as well as access to the city's most vibrant night life.

Jose Cuervo Day of the Dead Dome, Auckland, New Zealand

Closer to home, Kiwis will have the opportunity to celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Jose Cuervo Day of the Dead Dome, a pop-up that will be located within the SKYCITY Carnaval Festival in Auckland. The pop-up will capture the fun and vibrant culture synonymous with Mexico with traditional games, bold and vibrant headpieces, masks, masquerade and more. The Jose Cuervo pop-up will run from Friday, November 2 to Saturday, November 3.

Where to stay

Fed up with hotels and keen to kick-back in your own home away from home? Rent your own apartment for the duration of your stay at the CBD Viaduct Harbour. Only a short walk away from the city centre, the property offers calming views of the water's edge. While you wait for the festivities to start, you can indulge in a jet boat tour, whale and dolphin safari or just a drink in one of Auckland's finest restaurants and bars.

Birmingham, Alabama

Of course, you could visit one of the many parties during Halloween weekend in Birmingham but save some energy for the Dia de los Muertos Festival by Bare Hands Gallery. On November 2, the 14th edition of this event will take place at Cahaba Brewing Co. During the event, the dearly departed will be commemorated with ofrendas. You can bring photos, flowers, pan de muerto, sugar skulls or candles for the altars and shrines, and there will be a memorial roll call. The festival is a happy celebration of life with good food, music, art and laughter, and the dress code is fiesta fierce, with bones and sugar skulls. Unsure how to apply the make-up for a sugar skull? No problem - you can visit one of the face painters at the festival to get the look.

Where to stay

The boutique Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook offers luxury accommodation and is close to both the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the city centre. The hotel features cooking classes at the on-site professional kitchen and also has a sculpture garden, fitness centre and an art gallery.

Dublin, Ireland

The Pan de muerto (Spanish for Bread of the Dead) is a type of sweet roll traditionally baked in Mexico during the weeks leading up to the Dia de los Muertos. Photo / Getty Images
The Pan de muerto (Spanish for Bread of the Dead) is a type of sweet roll traditionally baked in Mexico during the weeks leading up to the Dia de los Muertos. Photo / Getty Images

The annual Dia de los Muertos Costume Party is one of the most talked about parties on the Dublin calendar and something you definitely do not want to miss. The ticket price includes dinner and cocktail specials as well as DJ entertainment and a complimentary show. There will also be spot prizes for the best costumes so remember to dress to impress. The event will be held across two days, from Sunday, October 28 to Monday, October 29.

Where to stay

Located just 20 minutes' walk away from Dublin's town centre and 16 minutes' walk away from Bord Gais Theatre, sits the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road. This stylishly designed hotel offers views over the city, a fitness centre, as well as an elegant restaurant and bar.