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Halloween Celebration in the Philippines
My Halloween Celebration 2012: A Photo Blog
According to researches, Halloween is influenced by feasts of the dead in Europe. It is also most celebrated in countries in United States and Canada. They gather in October 31 with families, relatives and friends or days before or after this date. In Asia, there is a little difference in ways of celebrating this holiday. Here in the Philippines, especially in our province, we simply celebrate Halloween or "Kararua (in our dialect)" by offering a mass for our departed loved ones, lighting candles on their tombs, and offering flowers and prayers. Some families carry with them their food in the cemetery and have a picnic there. Others visit the cemetery earlier to clean the tombs and repaint them and some go there after (depending on the availability of time of family members). I want to share how my family celebrated the Halloween in a simple way.
In October 31, after a day at work, we went home to our hometown after almost three years of not spending our Halloween there. In the morning of November 1, we woke up early to attend the mass. After the 2-hour mass at church, we prepared to go to the cemetery to continue with our prayer offerings. Each family offered their prayers and songs for the dead, blessed the tomb with holy water and lighted candles. Some stayed for picnic and others went home. We continued offering prayers to all the different places where our loved ones were buried. After the service, we took our lunch together (with my aunts and uncles) at my uncle's place.
As we spend the lunch together, we shared stories and laughter. We planned to go out and visit the CORE shelter site (a government housing program for those household sites affected by natural calamities) established at a selected place in the town before dusk.
Before we left the site, we had a short walk on top of the mountain to view the setting sun and check other shelters of those people we know.
We went home and spend the dinner at our Aunt's place. She took time to teach us how to bake a Chocolate Cake (I studied baking in high school but seem to forget how) after dinner and then we slept.
In the morning of November 2, we continued our baking lesson (for another recipe) and so sad to say that we failed : ( .. The cake turned out to be something like this:
We did not let the day end without visiting the cemetery again. I called my best friend and we took a walk to the cemetery at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I took photos of my kids on their great grandma and grandpa's tomb, said a little prayer and went back home.
This is how we simply celebrate the All Saints' Day and All Soul's day from November 1 and 2. Some town are now adopting the practice of having a trick or treat parties and Halloween Night programs.
No matter how many ways we do to celebrate this holiday, we still have one in common. We all want to allot at least one or two days of our time to be with our departed loved ones and offer them our prayers.