What we lack in Halloween parties and trick or treating, we make up for All Saints’ and All Souls’ celebration.
Growing up in a predominantly Catholic society, the idea of Halloween, or trick or treat is a little bit foreign to me. And although I am quite aware of Western traditions as I see in media, it simply wasn’t practiced in our family; or perhaps in most Filipino families. What we have instead is the celebration of All Saints’ Day on the first of November, and All Souls’ Day the day after.
Much like Christmas or a town’s feast, the first two days of November are well-celebrated by Filipinos. Although there isn’t as much food, families flock to the cemetery to spend the entire day with the loved ones who have move on elsewhere but this life. It is a bit ironic that celebrating the day of our dearly departed is done with a rather festive atmosphere.
The entire day is spent together with the family, living and not. After cleaning up, the family begins praying. Afterward, small chat would commence among relatives who may have not seen each other for quite a while. Then, packed food is brought out for everyone to share. In the afternoon, a short nap is also a good idea.
The cemetery is also a good location for snapshots. Although, I do not like to stare at them for too long, for the fear of seeing something eerie.