after work on november second, i rode my bike to 24th street and mission and into another world. the celebration of dia de los muertos – day of the dead – was in full swing and the atmosphere was thick with a spookily wonderful brand of eerie magic. i love love love this event. in keeping with latino culture, this day is set apart to remember and revere those who have passed on, and the mission district of san francisco throws a pretty rad party. i met up with my friend krissy, whose facepaint turned me and steph into skeletons, as that weirdly beautiful magic wafted around us. the energy on the streets during the day of the dead is so unique – a mix of sacred, edgy and exciting – mystic, dead and spine-tingly alive.
there is a procession which all can watch and/or join in on. most everyone carries a candle and many carry pictures of loved ones who have passed on. one of the best parts of this event is seeing what kinds of incredibly cool costumes and creations people have come up with. music fills the streets and people dance, march and twirl down the road to the varying beats.
after the procession we headed to a park where all the altars were set up. there were candles galore, including many hanging from branches and over the paths, flowers and notes and pictures and presentations set into the trees and arranged in the grass. it was so beautiful and felt so sacred. i loved the hallowed feeling there. we meandered through the crowds and memorabilia and everyone spoke hushed and everything was gleaming soft in the night.
we ate amazing, huge burritos with our faces still dead at a hole-in-the-wall taqueria and chatted about which things we saw that we liked the best. the ghosts of the streets continued passing outside, and salsa replaced face paint. i rode my bike home with salsa and paint on my face, and i felt so happy for a little trip to another eerily magical world.