The All Souls Procession is a massive, grassroots gathering to creatively and collectively honor and celebrate our dead. It has its roots in the arts community of Tucson, which shows in the wide range of creative projects and costumes that participants bring to honor their loved ones–from masks to lanterns to portable altars to large floats.
The Procession is open to all cultures, all ways of honoring the dead, whether those are ancient inherited traditions or brand new ones invented by the participants. Everyone is welcome. Some people bring traditions from their ancestors–Aztec ceremonies, Dia de los Muertos imagery, Japanese Obon music and dance–others create new traditions–like adding a message or prayer to the Urn to be burnt during the Finale Ceremony. You are encouraged to do either, to dig into your own roots or to create something new.
The Finale Ceremony is a ritual performance at the end of the Procession, centered on the burning of the tens of thousands of messages, prayers, and remembrances that participants have placed in the Urn. Volunteer Spirit Groups, under the professional guidance of Flam Chen and other directors, collaborate with musical guests and guest performers to create a performance that draws on and feeds the deep human hunger for ritual, collective, spectacular ceremony.
For details on this year’s schedule, please see our calendar.