The first recorded zombie walk took place in Sacramento, California (USA), on August 19, 2001. Ever since, this pilgrimage of people dressed up in zombie costumes has been held in several cities around the world.
It all began when a group of followers of the horror genre took advantage of the celebration of a Trash Films Festival to walk the streets of this city in the United States made up as zombies. It was spontaneous and it did not have a name, just twelve participants. Again in the United States, what we now know as Zombie Walk took place in 2003.
Even though it is acknowledged as an American custom, this celebration was welcomed around the world. Every year, new countries join the zombie list.
The idea landed in Argentina in 2007, when a group of horror film fans organized a zombie meeting at San Martín Square, in Retiro, Buenos Aires
, through the Internet. The seventy attendants never imagined that after some years the parades would be multitudinous.
Besides walking around the streets of microcentro
dripping fake blood and pretending to be victims of a powerful virus, the Argentinian Zombie Walk is a charity event. Every year, a different children's soup kitchen is chosen to receive the food gathered by the walkers.
The event is organized through social networks. The "regulations" of the walk are stated there. It is made clear that Zombie Walk is a pacifist demonstration to raise social awareness and encourage participants to contribute with a non-perishable food item.
Before setting out, the choreography of “Thriller” is taught to all participants as a tribute to the great Michael Jackson. Afterwards, everyone dances to the rhythm of the King of Pop. There is a bus parked at San Martín Square where all sympathetic zombies leave their food item.
Artistic make-up stalls guarantees that everyone may have the walking-dead appearance. Everyone can turn. Asociación Argentina de Hemoterapia e Inmunohematología
(Argentinian Hemotherapy and Immunohematology Association) releases red balloons into the air in order to encourage blood donation. The event ends with the Kennedy Choir singing the Zombie Anthem. Attendance is free and open to the entire family: "Be a sympathetic zombie”.
Then the walk starts. All the zombies march together along the main streets in downtown Buenos Aires. People may be seen having fun. There are groups of friends, families, photographers and even pets stained with artificial blood.
During the march, the leader of Argentinian Zombie Walk -Reynaldo Rataplín or El Rey del Copo
- cries out the zombie commandments through a loudspeaker: "Thou shall awake one Sunday morning. Thou shall free the zombie inside you. Thou shall seek for your neighbor's brains. Thou shall multiply. Thou shall walk and walk. Thou shall not recognize either your father or your mother. Thou shall not speak. Thou shall not walk upright. Thou shall not stop bleeding. Thou shall not reason.”.
The latest Argentinian Zombie Walk issue had a record of over 25,000 participants and approximately 15,000 kilos of food were raised.
If you wish to learn more: Argentinian Zombie Walk