Día de los Muertos 2019 | San Francisco

The San Francisco Symphony celebrates Día de los Muertos with a collaboration concert with the Villalobos Brothers on November 3. Photo courtesy of Brandon Patoc & the San Francisco Symphony

It’s the time of year when La Catrina, perhaps one of the most recognizable skeletons ever, comes out in her wide-brimmed hat and feathers. Watch as locals in white face paint and black bone markings emerge for this year’s Día de los Muertos holiday to raise and praise the dead.

The Mexican tradition of striking altars—known as “ofrendas”—and thoughtful remembrance may not be as unruly as Halloween, but that doesn’t mean it’s not colorful, fun, and lively. Join in on the following culturally rich BARTable SF Day of the Dead experiences to pay homage to loved ones lost.

Gather at the Mission Neighborhood Center's Día de los Muertos ceremony. Photo courtesy of RedTri

Día de los Muertos at Mission Neighborhood Center (October 30) by 16th St Mission

Gather your photos, candles, and memories for this Mission district community celebration. The Mission Neighborhood Center’s Día de los Muertos ceremony will host a full schedule of Aztec ceremonial dance, decorated altars, and “pan de muerto” Mexican chocolate and tamales. Yes, arts and crafts will be on hand to keep the kids entertained. Open to the community but with limited capacity, this family-friendly Day of the Dead event is Wednesday, October 30 from 4-6pm. Take BART to 16th St Mission and walk six minutes to the center. 

Build an ofrenda with CounterPulse. Photo courtesy of Day of the Dead

CounterPulse Day of the Dead Tenderloin Neighborhood Altar Project (November 1) by Powell St

For 25 years, the CounterPulse nonprofit performance space and network of events has supported local emerging artists with an emphasis on cutting-edge works representing diversity. Its role “as a catalyst for art and action” to engage and connect local communities in SF continues with this Day of the Dead Altar Project in the Tenderloin. Make altars and join the dedication ceremony on Friday, November 1 from 3-5pm. The Altar Project will remain on display in the CounterPulse lobby until November 8. Take BART to Powell St and walk four minutes to 80 Turk St. 

Join a traditional Día de los Muertos procession in the Mission on November 2. Photo courtesy of SFGate

37th Annual Día de los Muertos Procession (November 2) by 24th St Mission

The Rescue Culture Collective, a grassroots nonprofit, remains dedicated to organizing a traditional Día de los Muertos procession “as closest to our Meso-American and Mexican roots.” Don’t think of this as a reason to unabashedly party in the streets: the non-alcoholic gathering is reflective and respectful in its procession and altar dedications. The walk begins at 7pm at 22nd and Bryant Street, and passes 24th St./Mission BART Station. Take BART to 24th St Mission and walk 15 minutes to 22nd and Bryant. 

The San Francisco Symphony celebrates Día de los Muertos. Photo courtesy of Brandon Patoc & the San Francisco Symphony.

Día de los Muertos Symphony Concert (November 3) by Civic Center/UN Plaza 

The Villalobos Brothers and their fiddles bring a fusion of Mexican folk music and jazz to this Day of the Dead production at Davies Symphony Hall. The celebrated trio has taken its revered blend of vocal harmonies and masterful instrumentation far from the brothers’ hometown of Xalapa, Mexico to the international community, and now they’ll collaborate with conductor Jacomo Bairos and the San Francisco Symphony. This special Día de los Muertos Symphony Concert (with folk art and altars in the venue lobby) takes place November 3 at 2pm. Tickets are available online and range from $22.50-$105. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk eight minutes to Davies Symphony Hall. 

Looking for events in the East Bay? Check out Día de los Muertos 2019 | East Bay


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