Two young brother at the Dia de los Muertos even in San Francisco. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated annually in the Mission District in San Francisco with a procession through the streets at dusk, ending in Garfield Park which is filled with alters honoring the dead. It has become a community, and a 30 year tradition. The Day of the Dead (DÃa de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl (known in English as "The Lady of the Dead").