Thousands came to the Mission last night for the annual Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebrations, a traditional Meso-American holiday in which the living honor the deceased.
Families and friends started to gather at 4 p.m. at Garfield Park to build, display or view the altars of loved ones who are no longer around. The young and the restless arrived later for face painting and a parade through the Mission.
The annual procession began at 22nd and Bryant at 7 p.m. and wound its way up 24th, across the Mission, and then down Mission Street. By the time the parade reached Mission Street around 8:30 p.m., many of those participating had clustered in small groups and were openly celebrating with alcohol and dancing in the streets. Afterwards, many returned to Garfield Park where multiple street parties broke out.
There were sparse chants of “Our Mission, No Eviction” and “Sí se puede,” the two phrases most common with protestors in the Mission, but unlike last year, this year’s Day of the Dead was not an occasion for anti-gentrification protests. The majority of those who attended were clearly there to party and have a good time in what was an inclusive event.
Day of the Dead came after a week in which the Giants won the World Series and Halloween fell on a Friday night. In case you these other events tired you out so much that you couldn’t make it to dance in the streets last night, enjoy a tour of the scene with your morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea.