November 2, 2019
Artboard 1.png

Festival of Altars

Festival of Altars

Festival of Altar Banner Final.png

November 2nd

4:00pm Potrero Del Sol Park 25th and Potrero

Marigold Project

invites you to 26th annual
Festival of Altars

On November 2nd, Day of the Dead Festival of Altars will be held in Potrero Del Sol Park aka. La Raza Park. Please come and participate in building an altar or come to view the community altars.

The making and viewing of traditional, contemporary, or experimental altars is a unique transformative experience connecting us closer to our Ancestors. Bring flowers, 8 inch glass prayer candles, and mementos of loved ones to contribute to the Community Altars.

Altar Building

There are two ways to build an altar, you can either come to a Community Workshop and join a group altar or you can build your own personal altar. To RSVP an altar space contacts us at, come during community workshop hours to sign up or come to our booth at Mission Community Market on Thursdays between 5pm - 7pm. All are welcome to participate. Please read the Altar Guidelines before starting construction.

Community Altars



The Day of the Dead Festival of Altars brings our communities together to celebrate our most meaningful events—life and death in one spirit. We create five community altars to symbolize our connection to the earth and our ancestors.

noun_skull banner_291250.png


Five altars are designed and built collaboratively by artists and community in all disciplines. Each shrine will represent an element, a universal symbol, and a stage of life.


East Altar

The East Altar calls the element of air, dedicated to our ancestral children. The circle is used to symbolize the interconnectedness of life and death, and white as the unifying color for all things seen and unseen.


South Altar

The South Altar summons the element of fire, devoted to our ancestral youth, and its red-hot hues and triangle symbolize strength, art, poetry, passion, and balance.


West Altar

The West Altar hails the element of water, honoring adults in tones of blue. The symbol is the square, representing rhythms of life, emotions, ocean tides, and moon cycles.


North altar

The North Altar honors the earth and our ancestors, the tones are green and purple, and the four-directional cross is the symbol. It solicits past, present, and future wisdom from the earth and our beloved Ancestors.


Center altar

The Center Altar is devoted to self-love, love in relationship to the other, community, and the universe. The symbol is the never-ending spiral, dressed in green and rainbow colors.

Marigold Project

The Marigold Project serves the community by creating healing spaces connecting us to our ancestors and our impermanence in One Spirit. By providing cultural education, art and writing therapy workshops, and altar building skills connecting as a community, we honor the circle of life and death. We respect life by teaching our children who we are in the cosmos, our humanity, and the preservation of our planet.


San Francisco’s Day Of The Dead Holidays is rooted in Mesoamerican tradition. In the past forty years it has grown in the Mission District with a steel commitment to maintain a non-denominational spiritually focused core, free to the public and free of commercialization. It is a San Francisco Mexican and Latinx driven multicultural signature holiday defining our culture in the Mission District open to all. 

San Francisco is connected to the holy city of Teotihuacan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, known to scholars as a city built to reflect the heavens located thirty miles north-east of Mexico City. It was the largest, most influential, and most revered ancient civilization in the history of the western hemisphere. This site houses the enormous pyramids honoring the Sun, the Moon and a smaller, but now considered the most important of the three, a monument to Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent, a large burial site. 

The enormous Avenue of the Dead, Avenida de Los Muertos, a road three miles long and 131 feet wide was the Day of the Dead Processional site architecturally connecting these monuments. It is part of the Inca trails linking El Camino and the Mission roads, including our Mission Street in San Francisco.  

The sacred Avenue of the Dead held hundreds of thousands of people four times a year honoring our Ancestors, the changing of the seasons, the elements, and most importantly honoring the Spirit of life. Its influence continues to live in the ritual design, art, and spiritual practices here in the San Francisco’s Mission District. Archaeological evidence suggests Teotihuacan, meaning birthplace of the gods, was a multi-ethnic city, with distinct quarters occupied by Otomi, Zapotec, Mixtec, Maya, and Nahua people. Their art and rituals reflected combinations of its inhabitants, it stands to reason that our San Francisco Day of the Dead celebrations reflects the rich cultural diversity of our City. 

We are made from our mother's and father's ancestral DNA, we are the descendants of our ancestors, the bad, the good, the powerful, the ugly and beautiful—most importantly we embody a Spirit uniquely our own. By acknowledging our death we honor our life.

This is a family alcohol free event. Please respect the sacredness of our event. All are welcome to participate in the sharing of culture, healing, and celebrating the lives of our ancestors.