Every year, an altar contest brings delegations from all over the state to the Plaza Grande in Merida. It is a cultural spectacle based on the religious concept of Hanal Pixan and organized by the Cultural Institute of the Yucatan Government. Winners of local contests are invited to travel to the the capital city to participate in the statewide competition.
The Plaza Grande is converted into a stage where the altars are set up for display. Many religious images adorned with photographs of the dead are present. Favorite prayers are placed at the foot of the altar as well as mucbil chicken, a traditional dish prepared only for this celebration.