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How The Filipinos Celebrate All Saints And All Souls Days

Updated on December 17, 2015
Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma is a Filipina Expat living in Germany. She shares her Philippines life and travel experiences about her beautiful home country.


Philippines is an Asian country of 7,707 islands. It is the only catholic country in Southeast Asia with more than 83% Catholics. A catholic country with a lot of superstitious beliefs and traditions. There is no Thanksgiving Day celebration in the Philippines although some Filipino-Americans are adopting Thanksgiving Day Celebration at home. Nowadays, Halloween parties are being practiced everywhere at work, schools, on television as well as at home.

A Cave form  grave of my friends'  husband.
A Cave form grave of my friends' husband. | Source

Prayer Books for the Mass at the Cemetery


The Filipinos celebrate All Saints Day on the 1st of November and All Souls Day on the 2nd of November every year. These are the days when lots of Filipinos, who are working far from their families, go home to their families to celebrate and commemorate the days of their dead relatives.

Weeks and days before November, the Filipinos go to their respected cemeteries to clean the graves of their love ones. They are so busy with getting rid of the grasses and garbage that surrounds the graves. Some painted the wall, polishing the names, putting tiles to the floor and putting ceiling of the their dead's "houses". They beautify the surroundings for those special days. They do these things as they stay at the graveyard for more than two hours and even stay there overnight. Yes, overnight as they vigil and sleep in the graveyard with the other relatives while celebrating the All Saints and All Souls Days. There is no celebration without food and plays. They eat, sing with karaoke and even dance at their graveyards.

The 9 days novena is being prayed. The 8 days of the novenas are prayed at home where as the last day, the 9th day novena is being prayed in the cemetery as the final prayer. This prayer is a tribute to the dead that they may rest in peace and that God will save their souls. A priest gives a Mass at the cemetery on those special days.

At night time at the graveyard.
At night time at the graveyard. | Source

All Saints Day

All Saints Day is a special day for the parents to celebrate and remember the death of their children. From babies to the young children who die in their early innocent lives. Lives which had just began but early ended due to many sad circumstances in life. This day is called All Saints Day because in my opinion the children were still innocent. They have not committed sins yet.

All Souls Day

All Souls Day is on the second of November. It is the day when the Filipinos give tribute to their dead adult relatives. They prayed for the salvation of their souls.

How The Filipino Celebrate

  1. Cleaning the graves at least a week before the All Saints Day.
  2. Organizing 9 Days Novenas at home where the last day Novena is held at the cemetery. A priest gives Mass on those days for the peace and the salvation of the dead' s souls.
  3. Names of the dead relatives are announced at the Mass in the church. This prayer is for the salvation of their souls.
  4. Food is prepared for the celebration. From Lumpia to fruit salad are being prepared and eaten not at home but at the graveyard of the dead relative. Of course the favorite food of the dead relative is being served as well as the other delicious Filipino dishes.
  5. The relatives gather around the grave and enjoy the celebration by eating, singing, joking, playing cards and many others you can think of.
  6. They sleep overnight at the grave of their relatives.

My great thanks to my friend Melba and her family, who allowed me to publish the photo of the graveyard of her loving and missed husband.

 Halloween decoration at friends party.
Halloween decoration at friends party. | Source


© 2011 Thelma Alberts


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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      I see. Continue writing. You will see there are plenty of Pinays writing in HP as well as in other writing sites online. Thanks for your visit Sheila Pornan.

    • SheilaPornan profile image

      Sheila Pornan 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I started with a couple of articles from Squidoo but it's just only recently that I decided to write again & get to know more about how HP works. So far so good. :D

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      Thank you very much Sheila Pornan for visiting and commenting on my hub. How come I have not met you here before? Anyway, you are one of those talented Pinoy writers online, I supposed;-))) I´m looking forward to read your hubs, too.

    • SheilaPornan profile image

      Sheila Pornan 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I was searching if there's already a hub about our (Filipino) All Saints Day & All Souls Day traditions and I stumbled on this informative hub. Thank you for sharing & looking forward to read more!

      And awesome to see lots of talented Filipinos here in HP. :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      Hi peachpurple! Goodness, no not me spending overnight at the graveyard. It's scary for me. Other people do spend the night there. Thanks for the your visit.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, you even stayed overnight at the graveyard, very brave! We pray and clean on the same day, no food, just candles and prayer and then go back home.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Yes, it is very interesting to know other customs and traditions. You´re the first Pagan/Wiccan high priest that I know of. It sounds great. I have to read some more of your hubs to learn how you live and so on;-) Thanks for stopping by.

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 5 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      Most informative to see how Filipinos celebrate All Saints and All Souls Days. It is always interesting to view the celebrations of others and learn more and more with each reading of such. Myself, as a Pagan/Wiccan High Priest, celebrate Samhain which is our New Year at the time others are celebrating All Souls Day and All Saints Day along with Halloween. Voted up, interesting and useful! Thanks!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Thanks Nelly A. for commenting.Yes, you are right. We became sophisticated in the Philippines but it is fun as I have experienced it this time. Have a good night sleep.

    • Nelly A. profile image

      Nelly A. 5 years ago

      Great hub Thelma. Yes we celebrate it cheerfully here. It's like the new year's eve celebration on the graveyard. Philippines has become a bit sophisticated and little kids are not afraid of graveyards anymore. Definitely different 25 or 30 years ago. Folks sometimes call it disrespect to the dead... but you know teenagers, they wouldn't go to graveyards on this special day if parents wouldn't allow them to bring their casette players (years ago). So parents had to agree to have a little party as long as the entire family is present.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Hi Nell Rose. Thanks for stopping by. To tell you the truth, this was my first time of attending this kind of celebration in my home country for I live in Germany for 30 years. It was not like this before in the 70's, so it came so weird to me having a "party" surrounded with graves.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, what a lovely celebration, I knew other countries did this, but I never realised it happened in the Philippines, thanks for sharing, cheer nell

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Thank you once again stephaniedas for visiting my hubs and that you enjoyed reading them. I am also looking forward to read all of your hubs. Have a nice day. Take care.

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 5 years ago from Miami, US

      This is a great hub, I really felt like I was getting the real deal from you! Thanks forthe educational and interesting hub, I look forward to reading more about your home country.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Hi Eiddwen! Thanks for dropping by and giving a good comment. Take care as well as have a good day to you and your family.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      I really enjoyed this well presented hub and here's to so many more to share on here.

      I vote up without a doubt.

      Take care and have a wonderful day.