If dressing up like Sarah Palin and passing out halfway through the Halloween Parade is not your thing, allow us to direct you to a more dignified tradition. St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery hosts Day of the Dead, a four-day celebration of the dearly departed whose souls return to visit the living. Today, guests are welcome to assist in building altars and watch a procession of Mexican dancers that begins in Union Square. Halloween night includes workshops on just about everything you need to know on altar decorating, from creating sugar skulls to writing poetry to making special foods. There will also be theatrical performances and live music (mariachis, too!). Be sure to bring photos of those you’d like to honor and unique tokens to add to the altar. Saturday and Sunday (All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day) also include arts-and-crafts workshops, food vendors, and music.

Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2008