It might not be as widely recognized as some other early fall holidays (….Halloween anyone?) but Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is certainly an occasion that is worth celebrating. A traditional Meso-American holiday that is dedicated to honoring ancestors and the cycle of life, Dia de los Muertos is traditionally celebrated by cemetery-area gatherings where people get together to share food, music, fun and memories. Although it might not be the first San Francisco Attraction that comes to mind when you picture the City by the Bay, Dia de los Muertos in San Francisco is an event that is worth checking out.
One way of celebrating the Dia de los Muertos is by going to the Festival of Altars at Garfield Park or taking part in the Day of the Dead procession on Saturday, November 2.
Beginning at 6 p.m. in Garfield Park (at 26th & Harrison Streets), the Festival of Altars is a chance for you to make an altar in memory of someone who has passed away. An annual event, the Festival of Altars usually results in the creation of hundreds of personal altars that end up lining the park’s perimeter. In 2013, five local artists will be creating large-scale, interactive, community altars in the park.
Starting at 7 p.m., the Day of the Dead procession will depart from 22nd and Bryant Street and proceed up Bryant until 24th Street. The procession is a chance for community members, artists and activists to march, dance and parade through the city’s streets.
This is the complete parade route:
STARTS at 22nd and Bryant at exactly 7 pm, & moves along Bryant to 24th St.
CONTINUES along 24th St. to the corner of 24th St. & Mission
CONTINUES along Mission St. to 22nd St and turns on 22nd St.
CONTINUES along 22nd St. to Bryant St.
CONCLUDES at the corner of 22nd & Bryant St.
Another San Francisco Attraction honoring the Day of the Dead is the Dia de los Muertos Community Concert at Davies Symphony Hall on Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. This year’s show will be the San Francisco Symphony’s sixth concert honoring the special day and it promises to be a very festive event. In the hour before the show begins, there were will be refreshments, children’s activities, and colorful displays celebrating Día de los Muertos in the lobby and then the show – which is half price for ages 17 and under – will begin. The performance will include pieces by Márquez, Nathaniel Stookey and Arvo Pärt, and dance company Calidanza, folkloric music group Vinic-Kay and theater group Circulo Cultural will all make appearances.