All Souls Day festivities in Tucson - Tucson News Now

All Souls Day festivities in Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tens of thousands of people showed up downtown to enjoy the annual "day of the dead" festivities in Tucson.  Many of them just to watch, while thousands walked in the parade and attended a concert at the Mercado St. Agustin, at the end of the parade route.

The tradition began about twenty years ago.  In Mexico, it is traditionally a day when family and friends turn out to clean up grave sites and leave offerings for deceased loved ones.  That is followed by a meal and party celebrating the fact that the person's spirit is still with them.

All Souls Day processions now take place throughout the world.  In Tucson, the procession lasted for over an hour.

Many painted their faces as playful skeletons, and dressed up in fancy garb.  They created huge puppets, altars, and floats to honor those who have passed away.

Almost everyone who walked in the parade did it in memory of someone.  Be it a deceased parent, child, or friend they lost to a deadly disease.  Many also walked for a cause, whether it was victims who died of AIDS, those who were murdered because of hate crimes, abuse victims, animal spirits, and social causes such as hunger and suffering, Tucsonans were creative and festive in showing their support and honoring the victims.
 
Throughout the night, and along the parade route, spectators and participants were handed pieces of paper on which to write the name of a loved one.

The parade ended with a grand finale, when all those papers were put in an urn, and the urn was set on fire.
 
Organizers estimate about 30,000-40,000 people attended the 2012 All Souls Day festivities, throughout the parade route.
 
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