Halloween in The Philippines
All Hallow's Day
Its most commonly known as Halloween specially in the US, but in the Philippines we call it All Saint's/Hallow's Day which is on November 1, and All Souls Day on November 2, Halloween here is very different when it comes to how i gets celebrated. None of these dates have Trick or Treating activities like in some countries, we don't dress us in costumes and go around the neighborhood.
November 1, is considered the day for the dead in the Philippines, it is the time when people go to the cemetery to visit and pay respects to their dead relatives. In the Philippines it is a non-working Holiday, everyone is given the day off to get the chance to go and visit the cemetery.
Going to the Cemetery - A crowd of people
Traditionally, Filipino's would go and visit the cemetery on the 1st day of November, usually they would arrive in the morning and stay until sundown. But a problem arises when you come and find crowds of people, and yes it is a struggle to go and walk a few kilometers in a crowded place. People could easily faint specially during noon as it is the hottest time of the day.
With that said, some would just go after sundown when its cooler, or just go on November 2, because there are less people compared with November 1. When we go to the cemetery, we don't stay for long like other families, we only stay for an hour or two and leave.
Candles on Halloween - How is it like to have your birthday during All Hallow's Day?
All Hollow's Day also requires you to bring candles to the cemetery, to light it up when you arrive in the tomb on your relative. What we usually do is wait until the candles are all used up before we leave. Now there's another time when we use candles is during the night of November 1, Filipinos would light up candles surrounding their homes this is also in connection with the dead relatives, and coming home at night from the cemetery would always be a sight to see, its so beautiful having candles all over the neighborhood.
Now November 1 is my cousin's Birthday and they go home to our province during that time and celebrate with us instead, because she'd have no visitors for everyone is going to the cemetery. Another reason why we only stay for a few hours is because we have to prepare for her birthday. Her birthday is different, because we always keep in mind the quiet and peaceful nature of All Hallow's Day, the celebration of her birthday is always just withing the family, and eating together, no party sound system or anything.
Flowers for Tombs
During this time, not only candles are present but there are flowers too, sometimes even food left on the tomb of their relatives who passed away. There are even times when we stumble upon families talking to the tomb, we don't do that of course, or even the food left on the tomb, Lets just say, some practices and beliefs of Filipinos aren't always the same. As simple as the thought "Some believe in superstitions and some don't".
Like the Candles, Flowers are left behind as something they gave or as a gift.
What do you do during Holloween?
How is Philippine Halloween Different?
- You won't see parties
- There are candles everywhere
- It's a non-working holiday
- Cemetery is the venue
- Flowers and Candles increase in price
- Its a silent time of the year