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Friday, October 31, 2014

Celebrate Day of The Dead in The Mission

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 12:56 PM

HANNA QUEVEDO
  • Hanna Quevedo

For a large portion of the United States, Día de Los Muertos is usually regarded as a Mexican version of Halloween, one that replaces jack-o'-lanterns and fun-size Skittles with grave visits and sugar skulls. But this holiday is so much more, and on Sunday the Marigold Project is putting on their annual Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars. 

The Mission's Garfield Park will be ground zero for the event, with over 75 altars, each one constructed to honor and remember a loved one who has passed on. This year's altars have been created by Mission residents and six community-based groups, who were commissioned to build large scale altars. Attendees are encouraged to bring flowers, candles, photos, food, and other small mementos to place around the altars, traditionally done to preserve the memory of a lost loved one.

The procession will kick off at 7 p.m. at the intersection of 22nd Street and Bryant, and will feature traditional Aztec dancers, and several community artists and activists, including poets Francisco X. Alarcón and Juan Pablo Gutierrez, and the influential religious theorist Starhawk. The procession is intended to promote solidarity with the dead, reminding participants that we all eventually have to meet our maker.

Sound depressing? Don't worry, the event usually draws huge crowds, and the holiday isn't supposed to be a bummer. It's a celebration of those we've lost, designed to show the living that the dead are never truly gone. If the crowds, skeletons, and insanely intricate face-paintings aren't enough to lift your spirits, get yourself a burrito. Its one thing the dead are probably missing.
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David L. Garcia

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