From Garfield Square to 24th Street to Mission Street, the neighborhood played host to Día de los Muertos Thursday. Centered in Garfield Square, the celebration gave attendees a chance to remember loved ones who have passed on. Dozens of altars honored grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends.  (All photos by Sam-Omar Hall)

Paulina Avila-Martinez of San Leandro applies make-up at the Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Garfield Square in San Francisco’s Mission District Thursday Nov 2nd. Avila-Martinez is half-Mexican and half-Chilean, and grew up with the Day of the Dead. It’s a “reminder that life and death are both very important,” she says. “Nothing in this world lasts forever. We can’t celebrate life without understanding death.”

Paulina Avila-Martinez of San Leandro applies make-up at the Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Garfield Square in San Francisco’s Mission District Thursday Nov 2nd.
Avila-Martinez is half-Mexican and half-Chilean, and grew up with the Day of the Dead. It’s a “reminder that life and death are both very important,” she says. “Nothing in this world lasts forever. We can’t celebrate life without understanding death.”

Angie Cabrera at the Dia De Los Muertos celebration at Garfield Square in the Mission.

Angie Cabrera at the Dia De Los Muertos celebration at Garfield Square in the Mission.

An installation by an artist named Cindy provided clotheslines, paper, and markers to leave notes to loved ones who have passed away. Many took the opportunity.

An installation by an artist named Cindy provided clotheslines, paper, and markers to leave notes to loved ones who have passed away. Many took the opportunity.

Josie Adele of Oakland, left, talks about her art piece “Breeding Gratitude,” which she first displayed at Burning Man. It’s based on a song written by her father, a Vietnam Veteran whom she said suffered from PTSD. The sweetness of the lyrics, she said, contrasted with her father’s everyday demeanor. A selection of the lyrics: “The velvety softness of the petal is a blanket to unfold / Warm protection from life’s brusies, and to keep away the cold.”

Josie Adele of Oakland, left, talks about her art piece “Breeding Gratitude,” which she first displayed at Burning Man. It’s based on a song written by her father, a Vietnam Veteran whom she said suffered from PTSD. The sweetness of the lyrics, she said, contrasted with her father’s everyday demeanor. A selection of the lyrics:
“The velvety softness of the petal is a blanket to unfold / Warm protection from life’s bruises, and to keep away the cold.”

Alessia Utini of Parma, Italy uses Spark George of Petluma, CA as a writing surface Thursday at Garfield Square duing Dia De Los Muertos celebrations in Garfield Square.

Alessia Utini of Parma, Italy uses Spark George of Petaluma, Calif., as a writing surface Thursday at Garfield Square during Dia De Los Muertos celebrations.

Sonia Hurtado of Fremont paints the face of Kurt Berggren, also of Fremont, on 24th Street Thursday. Hurtado and Berggren were surprised to learn they both lived in Fremont.

Sonia Hurtado of Fremont paints the face of Kurt Berggren, also of Fremont, on 24th Street Thursday. Hurtado and Berggren were surprised to learn they both lived in Fremont.

Outside the Mission Cultural Center on Mission Street, live music drew a crowd.

Outside the Mission Cultural Center on Mission Street, live music drew a crowd.

Inside the Mission Cultural Center, Jennnifer Coll paints the face of Lupe Velazquez.

Inside the Mission Cultural Center, Jennifer Coll paints the face of Lupe Velazquez.

Terry Pachecho of the Misson/Bernal Heights offers home-made headdresses for sale Thursday night on 24th Street. Each headdress is unique, Pachecho said. “I don’t know the beauty until I’m done with it. I love what I do, and I’m proud.”

Terry Pachecho of the Misson/Bernal Heights offers home-made headdresses for sale Thursday night on 24th Street. Each headdress is unique, Pachecho said. “I don’t know the beauty until I’m done with it. I love what I do, and I’m proud.”

A young reveler gets a boost during the Dia de los Muertos procession.

A young reveler gets a boost during the Dia de los Muertos procession.

Members of the Cuicacalli Dance Company perform Thursday night. The company is founded and directed by Jesus Jacoh Cortes.

Members of the Cuicacalli Dance Company perform Thursday night. The company is founded and directed by Jesus Jacoh Cortes.

Garfield Square in San Francisco’s Mission District played host to many altars.

Garfield Square in San Francisco’s Mission District played host to many altars.

By late evening, notes to departed loved ones had filled the installation.

By late evening, notes to departed loved ones had filled the installation.

Two young men share a moment in Garfield Square Thursday night at the Dia de Los Muertos celebration.

Two young men share a moment in Garfield Square Thursday night at the Dia de Los Muertos celebration.

Daren Iguchi - of The Skeleton Crew, AKA Grassiachi, tunes his instrument.

Daren Iguchi – of The Skeleton Crew, AKA Grassiachi – tunes his instrument.

A man kneels to scoop up incense at an altar dedicated to Santa Muerte.

A man kneels to scoop up incense at an altar dedicated to Santa Muerte.

Detail of the Santa Muerte altar, which was created by Axel Madrid and two companions.

Detail of the Santa Muerte altar, which was created by Axel Madrid and two companions.