The air was cool and thick with the smell of burning sage near Garfield Square in the Mission District last night, where Día De Los Muertos celebrants gathered following a neighborhood procession as part of the traditional Meso-American holiday. There, elaborate altars honored ancestors and lost loved ones, but the occasion was far from solemn, with drums, music, exuberant dancing, and intricate costumes on display.

Celebrated in San Francisco since the early 1970's, Día De Los Muertos also has a rich history of taking on political and social justice issues. In past years, the many families and individuals displaced from the rapidly gentrifying Mission District have been honored alongside deceased family members. This year, one altar was dedicated to the men killed at the Pulse night club in Orlando. Another remembered the names of victims of police shootings, picturing them as birds.

Above, a few photos of the lively event.