Hallowmas in San Diego

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    In case it wasn’t obvious, Autumn is my favorite season. I love when it gets dark earlier and the weather gets a bit cooler.  It’s true that here in San Diego we may not have an Autumn in the “traditional” sense like most other places, but I love it all the more. It’s a season that promises us a reprieve from the hot, dry summer, and it’s a time to celebrate my favorite holiday: Halloween!

San Diego is heavily influenced by Mexican cultural traditions. Halloween is traditionally known as All Hallows Eve and marks the eve of a three day solemn celebration of Saints on November 1st, and the dearly departed on November 2nd.  We have one of the most festive Dia de los Muertos celebrations in California, so it feels like I get to celebrate my favorite holiday for three days instead of one!

The premier place to enjoy the festivities of Dia De Los Muertos in San Diego is at Old Town State Historic Park: the birthplace of California. Every year, each museum displays beautiful alters commemorating prominent historical figures in San Diego history. El Campo Santo Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in California, is adorned with traditional Dia de los Muertos skulls, flowers, elaborate crosses, and amazing alter displays dedicated to the deceased that reside there who happen to be some of San Diego’s first residents. Many businesses in Old Town also get involved, their alters more personally dedicated. The community is invited to view the beautiful alters and participate in numerous activities such as face painting, sugar skull decorating, live music, eating traditional foods, and a nightly candle lit procession around the park.

Getting my face put on.
Getting my face put on.
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The beginning of the procession.
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Alter dedicated to “Lost San Diego” displayed in front of the Whaley House.
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El Campo Santo Cemetery decked out !

I look forward to celebrating this holiday every year because I feel it is important to honor our loved ones that have passed. It is believed that this is the time that the veil between our world and the world of the dead is thinned and allows our dearly departed to return to earth and celebrate with friends and family. This gives me a sense of comfort. I want my loved ones to know that though they are gone from this world, we have not forgotten them. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also enjoy dressing up and eating lots of candy ;-P . Hope you all had a wonderful Hallowmas!

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Jamie is a writer with a passion for adventure, history, and more. When she’s not out exploring the world, Jamie is at home in sunny San Diego, CA chasing sunsets and carne asada fries, preoccupied with research, or invested in a good book and a cup of tea.

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