Día de los Muertos is a traditional Meso–American holiday dedicated to the ancestors; it honors both death and the cycle of life.
In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.
The centerpiece of the celebration is an altar, or ofrenda, built in private homes and cemeteries, and meant to welcome spirits back to the realm of the living. As such, they’re loaded with offerings—water to quench thirst after the long journey, food, family photos, and a candle for each dead relative. Altars pay a special tribute to those who have died and serve as a way to welcome and guide their spirits. Please join us to learn more about this tradition!
The San Francisco Village community will be building a community altar (and then hosting a ceremony on November 1) to celebrate and honor our departed loved ones. We invite you to bring a 4x6 photo of your loved one and one or two small mementos to place on the altar. We will provide candles to light at the ceremony.