Traditions, Customs on the All Saints’ Day.
Halloween is finally over and everyone is happy with their loot last night, eating all those candies and goodies, hopefully not all of it in one night. Then comes the day after Halloween which is the All Saints’ Day. According to Wikipedia, “All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows, Solemnity of All Saints, or The Feast of All Saints) is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the Saints, known and unknown. All Saints’ Day is the second day of Hallowmas and begins at sunrise on the first day of November and finishes at sundown. It is the day before All Souls’ Day.”
Customs in the Philippines on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
The All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are the most celebrated Feasts in the Philippines. On this day, most Filipinos go back home to their own towns or cities to light candles and offer prayers to their dearly departed loved ones in the cemetery that they are interred. On this busy day, families gather to visit their loved one’s graves and that usually turns into a family affair just like our other traditions, such as the Holy Week and Christmastime. On All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day at cemeteries in the Philippines the visitors bring some flowers and candles that are lighted to honour the memory of deceased family, relatives and friends.
On November 1st, in our well known tradition, we usually visit the cemeteries for the observance of All Saints’ Day and this year we could experience cloudy to rainy weather and should bring umbrellas as some areas across the country, including Metro Manila will be under the typhoon warning. And Typhoon Vinta is expected to make landfall in areas of Northern Luzon enough to cause alert signal levels in at least 19 provinces according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as published by the Manila Bulletin News on October 31. 2013.
Hallowmas in the Philippines is called “Todos los Santos” (translation: “All Saints”), and sometimes “Áraw ng mga Patáy” (translation: “Day of the Dead”), which refers to the day following which is the All Souls’ Day. Filipino customs traditionally observed this day by visiting the graves of the loved ones departed, which days before the occasion they start often cleaning and repainting most of them. Then the offerings of prayers, flowers, candles, and even food are made, while Filipino-Chinese additionally burn incense and kim on the graves that they have painstakingly cleaned and prepared for this day. Many of them also spend the entire day and ensuing night holding reunions at the graves, playing music or singing songs and bringing their own provisions to share with the people who participate in the festivities. It is also the time and place where people bring in the parish priests to bless the graves of their beloved departed family and relatives.
In North America and Canada on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
A festival of all the saints is widely celebrated on 1st day of November and the Western Christian holiday of All Saints’ Day which falls on 1 November, followed by All Souls’ Day on 2 November and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. We usually go to church and attend the mass and services during these days. After mass some of the attendees proceed to the cemeteries where their deceased loved ones are interred here. It is not their tradition in the west but we tend to keep our traditions and our own customs on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day that are observed by most of the Filipinos even if they lived abroad. The observance of the Feast of All Saints’ Day have always been in our tradition for years and no matter where we live now, we still observe this day with much reverence to our dearly departed. Most of the visitations to the cemeteries done in the west are observed during the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Then also during the departed’s birthday which we always celebrate when they were still with us so we also commemorate that day even if they are already gone but never forgotten. It’s our way of showing great respect to our departed parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and other relatives, too. And remembering them on days like today brings so much relief and makes life easier to bear through the years gone by.