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The Bay Area Honors Those Who Have Passed With Day of the Dead Celebrations

10-29-2012 by the Hauntmistress

Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a holiday celebrating the memory of those who have passed. Festivities include making alters decorated with mementoes and photos of the departed, and creating sugar skulls. Here are a few events in November to help you celebrate the Day of the Dead or become acquainted with this holiday.

In San Jose on Nov. 1, the Tech Museum Dia de los Muertos features an after-hours party with dancing, games, and Tech-tini drinks. Explore the museum and celebrate a rich cultural tradition, including live dances from Grupo Folklorico Luna y Sol de San Jose State, sugar skulls, and more.

Kirk Von Hammett presents a Day of the Dead/Too Much Horror Business book release event. Wear your finest ghoulish and ghastly costumes and come to Public Works in San Francisco on Nov. 1 to celebrate all things horror. Expect zombies, Burlesque dancers, horror face painting, and special musical guests including Judgment Day and Bay Area favorites Death Angel.

On Nov. 2 the annual Dia de los Muertos San Francisco features a Festival of Altars in Garfield Park and a Day of the Dead procession. Prior to the procession, join Galeria de la Raza for a special decorating party, and be sure to wear your best calaca (skull) face!

Berkeley gets in on the celebration on Nov. 2 with Gourmet Ghetto Day of the Dead featuring a community alter, candle light procession, mariachis, Aztec dancers, fire dancers, art projects, face painting, food trucks, beer and wine garden, and more!

In Sebastopol on Nov. 2 the HopMonk Dia de los Muertos Costume Party features the live music of Diego’s Umbrella, celebrated as San Francisco’s ambassadors of Gypsy Rock.

On Nov. 2, the Old Sacramento Traditional Altar & Velacion Ceremony features Kalpulli Maquilli Tonatiuh and Azteca dancers from throughout California and Mexico performing traditional song and music ceremony on the Riverfront in Old Sacramento. Then on Nov. 3, Procession & Danza Azteca offers a large-scale community altar installation and procession. At 4 pm is calavera face painting, family activities, a pop-up photo booth, and traditional music. Starting at 6 pm there will be a traditional procession through Old Sacramento and Azteca Dance.

San Francisco’s SomArts Cultural Center presents Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future: Día de los Muertos through Nov. 10. The centuries-old tradition of building altars to welcome and celebrate deceased loved ones fuses with present-day artists’ sentiments on the state of life and politics in this exhibition.

The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Day of the Dead in San Francisco presents an exhibition with the theme of “death on the installment plan” through Nov. 17.

Meanwhile, the Oakland Museum Día de los Muertos celebrates local heroes and heroines who may not have made it into history books but have contributed to the betterment of their communities. Through altars and installations, the exhibition, running through Dec. 9, pays tribute to Californians in recent and the more distant past, and unveils how their remarkable experiences compose the narrative of change and in the ever-evolving story of California.

Check out our Events Calendar for more activities happening around the extended Bay Area.


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