Friday, October 28, 2005

Feast of All Saints and Feast of All Souls

We have now reached that time of the year when families begin an exodus to the city of the dead. This yearly pilgrimage is done to remember family members and friends who crossed on to the other side. Some believe that it is Catholic's version of Halloween, A Celtic belief that on the last day of the Celtic Year (October 31) evil spirits roamed the world with intent to create mischief and in order to be safe one had to dress as ghosts, goblins and other demonic denizens. Growing up Filipino and Catholic there was no Halloween Day, it was always November 1 and November 2 - All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day. Growing up I assumed (incorrectly) that Halloween and All Saints and All Souls' Day were the same. As kids we were kind of proud that we celebrated Halloween for two days. Ha ha. It was probably for the best we never went trick or treating. The trick or treating part was done in the gated communities of in Makati and Greenhills at the time. For us November 1 and 2 was going to the graves of our ancestors cleaning the place, probably eating, making wax balls from the melted part of the candle, and saying the novena for the departed members of the family. Some of the other people would actually sleep overnight, played mah-jong, drink; the whole cemetery became alive during November 1 and 2. It was min-city complete with food stalls and on the outskirt a carnival was set-up. Unfortunately, the city of the dead became quite congested with the living and the living leaves trash and others whereever they step. As the years passed and as the cemetery became more crowded we found it more practical and less stressful to visit our dead a few days or a week before All Saints and All Souls' day. And a few years ago, my nephew started going trick or treating. The local malls sponsor such events as part of their marketing schemes. So, I guess Halloween is coming to the Philippines. But, we still celebrate All Saints and All Souls' day; a little bit different perhaps but the intent of remembering the dead and the saints is still there. ___________________________________ Additional posts for today Books to read on Halloween, Feast of All Saints and All Souls Day What is your choice of horror movie? Balete


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