Día de los Muertos: SF’s Favorite Holiday

Día De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is vividly celebrated throughout San Francisco on November 2nd, but the larger celebrations typically take place in predominantly Latino neighborhoods like The Mission District. According to tradition, it is believed during November 1st and 2nd the spirits of loved ones who have passed on are granted divine permission to visit Earth. Contrary to popular belief, Día de los Muertos was originally celebrated at the beginning of summer, but was moved to October 31st–November 2nd to coincide with the Christian tradition of Allhallowtide (covering All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day).

Two women with candy skull face paint and candles, honoring the dead. Photo: Carnival Studios, Flickr.
Two women at the procession honoring the dead. Photo: Carnival.com Studios, Flickr. Creative Commons.

The Marigold Project is a non-profit organization that produces San Francisco’s Día De Los Muertos Festival. The Marigold Project’s mission is to preserve, promote and share the rituals and practices of Day of the Dead in San Francisco. Each year on November 2nd, this Mission-based non-profit coordinates and practices the free, outdoor Altar Exhibit. They create a public space for their community, especially for those who have lost a loved one.

On Monday November 2nd, the Día De Lose Muertos Public Altars will be in Garfield Park between 4:00PM-11:00PM. The procession will include traditional Aztec dancers, community members, artists and activists, and begins at 7:00PM at 22nd and Bryant Street. 

Making a Day of the Dead altar is a way for us to honor the life of someone who is no longer with us and to remember our ancestors. Flowers, candles, and mementos of loved ones are recommended items to bring and place on altars. 

Thousands of people are expected to attend this annual event! Schools and other community groups are encouraged and welcome to visit the park throughout the day while artists and other community members build their altars. 

The Marigold Project is sponsored by CouterPULSE and supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission, BART, the Mission Merchants Association, Community Artists and Individuals and many more! If interested in volunteering please visit here

The window display at Casa Bonampak on Valencia Street. Photo: Shannon McInerney
A window display on Valencia Street. Photo: Shannon McInerney, 49Miles.com

There are classes and workshops on creating altars, sugar skulls paper pieces and much more at the Mission Cultural Center, Casa Bonampak and Encantada Gallery of Fine Art.

The Mission Cultural Center is located on Mission Street between 24th and 25th Streets. The Mission Cultural Center was established in 1977 and promotes the preservation and development of Latino cultural arts which reflect the living tradition and experiences of the Chicano, Central and South American, and Caribbean people. It is also a venue for presenting Latin American arts — ancient/traditional and contemporary — including a gallery & events. The center is hosting their 29th annual Day of the Dead Día De Los Muertos Exhibition. For more information visit their website.

Casa Bonampak is a festive store on Valencia Street known for its colorful paper banners, jewelry, authentic decorated Mexican goods, Golden State Warrior’s Candy Skull t-shirts, accessories and more! The store is open 7 days a week through Day of the Dead!

11:00AM-7:00PM, Sunday-Thursday

11:00AM-9:00PM, Friday & Saturday

Face Painting schedule at Casa Bonampak:

Friday, October 30th 3:00-9:00PM

Saturday, October 31st 2:00-9:00PM

Sunday, November 1st 2:00-8:00PM

Monday, November 2nd 2:00-10:00PM

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard