Families go to cemeteries to tend to family plots, gravesides and tombs. There is a carnival-like atmosphere in Mexico as huge crowds descend upon cemeteries to hold all night vigils and cook food not only for themselves but also for the spirits of the departed who can visit this earthly realm one night a year. Old women sit in chairs by the graves while children run and play tag, musicians play and sing, and people sit and talk with family members.
Below: Ofrenda in a cemetery in Milpa Alta, Mexico.
In the United States, the largest Día de los Muertos celebration is held in San Francisco. A street parade with drumming and dancing attracts thousands of people who dress up in traditional skull face paint and costumes. Nearby Garfield Park is home to many altars honoring the lives of friends and family members. Some altars invite people to participate by adding photos of lost loved ones. The video below, by David C. Hill, is a nice clip of the street parade from 2010.
For more information, visit The Marigold Project at
which sponsors the procession and Garfield Park altars.