SF Day of the Dead celebrations in the Mission District and beyond have already started, with the annual procession at 7 p.m., and Thursday night’s Festival of the Altars scheduled to be livestreamed.
We get sort of a “second Halloween” in San Francisco, though a far more somber one, as the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) will be observed Thursday night in the Mission District and beyond. Funcheap SF reminds us that the Dia de Los Muertos procession is at 7 p.m. Thursday night, forming on Bryant Street between 22nd and 19th streets, and then making its way through the neighborhood. But there are plenty of other SF Dia de Los Muertos observances for which you can bust out your skull-painted face, marigolds, prayer candles, and mementos of the dearly departed.
There is of course also the Festival of the Altars at Portero del Sol Park, near Potrero Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street. Many of those altars were already unveiled at a 12 noon ceremony that you can still watch online, and as seen above, the Festival of the Altars will be livestreamed starting at 5 p.m. Thursday.
As always, there will be even more altars at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (2868 Mission Street, near 25th Street), whose community celebration is from 5:30-10 p.m. Thursday night. Marigold petals are already out at the base of many sidewalk trees along 24th Street, and at Mission Cultural Center altars.
"It is believed that our ancestors and loved ones come to our altars guided by that strong scent of that beautiful flower," the center’s director Martina Ayala said in a KPIX profile of those altars.
Dia de Los Muertos is also sometimes celebrated on November 1, as it was for Dia de los Muertos in the Sunset Wednesday night. KPIX was on hand for that one, with highlights seen in the segment above.
“Today I went to the cemetery before I came here,” artist Evangelina Portillo told KPIX, remarking on her contributions to a community altar. “I took all my loved ones flowers and I pray to them. And I hope they come to visit me tonight.”
HeadsUp: Dia de los Muertos procession takes place today at 7 p.m. in the Mission. Streets will be closed and #SFMuni will reroute around the procession route. Read below for more information.https://t.co/tLCK8YNmLv pic.twitter.com/WMv3SZQpcv— SFMTA (@SFMTA_Muni) November 2, 2023
But the main event is in the Mission District, withThursday night's official procession and the Festival of the Altars. SFMTA reminds us that there will be street closures on various blocks of Mission Street, Bryant Street, 22nd Street and 24th Street, and starting at 6:45, Muni buses will be somewhat rerouted on the 12, 14, 14R, 27, 48, 49 and 67 lines.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist