Don't look here for an answer; I'm post-Columbian. But consider these celebrations (all free, except where noted):
SomArts Gallery hosts events including a "Ritual and Ceremony" led by awesomely powerful witch Luisah Teish, 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 at 934 Brannan (at Eighth Street), S.F. For info, visit www.somarts.org.
The "Deadbeat: Poems and Songs to the Dead and the Not-So-Dead" reading collects satirical eulogies at the exhibition "CaliVera: Days of the Dead Altars Remixed," 8 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak (at 10th Street), Oakland. Admission is $5-8; visit www.museumca.org.
The opening gala of "Nichos y Recuerdos: El Círculo de la Luz" shows off work by professional artists like papel picado expert Herminina Albarrán Romero alongside community remembrances, 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission (at 25th Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 643-5001 or visit www.missionculturalcenter.org.
The most famous local wingding is the DOTD procession, 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 starting at 24th and Bryant streets in S.F. For info, visit www.dayofthedeadsf.org.
And for the kiddies, try the "Legends of the Night: Day of the Dead Walk," a family-oriented trudge, lantern-lit and including Mexican hot chocolate and "bread of the dead." Meet at the National Cemetery Gate at Lincoln and Sheridan in the Presidio at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5. For info, call 561-7752 or visit www.crissyfield.org.