Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 2013

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The San Francisco Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muetos) Procession and Festival of Altars is celebrated every year on (or near) November 2 throughout the Mission District. Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday which honors ancestors, death and the cycle of life. Altars are created in Garfield Park to remember family and friends who are gone and to celebrate their lives with loved ones. The altars consist of candles, sugar skulls, offerings, and flowers, especially marigolds whose color and strong scent lead the dead to the altar. The sugar skulls represent the celebration of life and death, and can be seen painted on the faces of many during the night.

The procession, celebrated in San Francisco since the early 1970s, consists of music, dancing, performances, activism and art. It winds along 24th and Mission Streets and can contain multiple processions. Skeletons and skulls (calacas and calaveras) dance through the street, ancestors are honored with photos and candles, and the beat of drums keeps everyone moving.

Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

Published on November 4, 2013

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5 comments
marliz133
marliz133

It seems that folks that have gentrified the Mission want to hold on to the Latino culture/traditions, including, Dia de Los Muertos, but they want to evict the actual people who make up and are a part of that heritage. If you confused this tradition for your own personal party time, please don't attend next time. How dare we ruin your evening with something so absurd as speaking out against evictions of our people in our community at one of our traditional celebrations?! Unbelievable. 

johnny137
johnny137 topcommenter

A big shout-out to the folks who decided this was a good opportunity to bitch about evictions. Way to stay on topic.

sofiao415
sofiao415

You go girl! The makeup looks awesome!!

johnny137
johnny137 topcommenter

@marliz133 how dare you tell the gringos to stick to the tradition and then do this. you suck.

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