Crowds are expected to gather in San Francisco and Berkeley this evening to participate in Dia de los Muertos celebrations, which honor the lives of deceased family members and friends.

The festival, which is celebrated on Nov. 2 each year, focuses on gatherings that pray for and remember those who have died by building private altars and presenting offerings of sugar skulls, marigolds, as well as the deceased’s favorite foods and beverages.

Although the holiday is most widely observed in Mexico, it is celebrated annually in San Francisco at Garfield Park, where an altars event will take place tonight until 10 p.m.

Participants are expected to begin congregating at 6 p.m. on Bryant Street at 21st Street for a 7 p.m. procession through the Mission District.

Several streets will be closed in the area to accommodate the procession, and motorists should expect delays. City officials said that the streets would re-open as the procession passes.

Those taking San Francisco Municipal Railway should also expect some bus routes will be delayed, specifically the 12-Folsom, 14-Mission, 27-Bryant, 48-Quintara, 49-Van Ness-Mission and 67-Bernal Heights.

Across the Bay, Berkeley’s North Shattuck Association is hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration that encourages attendees to participate in a costume contest and to bring items to contribute to the community altar.

Community members may bring photos or stories of their loved ones, candles, breads or flowers to add to the altar.

The celebration is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Shattuck Avenue between Rose and Vine streets.

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