Day of the Dead celebration, procession in San Francisco's Mission District

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Mission District is more colorful than ever on Friday evening, as the Day of the Dead becomes the Night of the Dead.

There are faces and memories of the dearly departed, all gathered together in one place, on this one Dia de Los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead.

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"That is your uncle Joe and uncle Rick," said Gigi Munoz to her daughter, Elizabeth, while looking at old pictures. Mostly, Gigi spoke about her mother, Antonia. "She died nine years ago of Alzheimer's."

Honoring ancestors on this day goes back thousands of years in Mexico. Here in Garfield Square, it has been 25 years -- thanks to Rosa De Anda, and for so many reasons in this diverse city. "It is essential that we consider this a multi-cultural affair. Death is the only thing we have in common."

Deaths of those we have loved.

Deaths that bring light.

"Do you feel blessed to feel the presence of your ancestors?" asked Lila Maes "I feel blessed to feel them."

They say the spirits come back on this day, drawn by the earthly and familiar.
Erni Calderon and Dominic Santiago came here to honor Dominic's aunt and also the neighborhood in gentrifying times.

"It keeps us rooted," said Erni. "There are a lot of changes going on in the Mission right now. This is our way of keeping our traditions here."

Keeping, creating, building.

In the grand scheme, lives are short

Traditions connect them when passed down.

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