Halloween: Are you tired and bored about the usual Halloween celebration? If you want to experience other things and activities other than trick or treating and attending Halloween costume parties, you should head elsewhere. There are other countries that commemorate and celebrate the day in their own unique and outstanding way. One of those countries is the Philippines. Being among the rare Christian nations in Asia, the Philippines celebrate Halloween with a twist every year. The occasion is commemorated for two consecutive days on the first and second day of November. Actually, they do not call it Halloween over there. Instead, the days are called All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively.
This is not unique to Filipinos though. The holidays are also observed in most other Catholic nations around the world. During Halloween, people in the country go to visit the graveyards of their deceased relatives instead of trick or treating. They spend the two days in solemn prayers. The religion they believe in teaches that the days are the best time to offer commemoration and sincerest prayers to departed family members. In the country, the dead are given particular significance. Their graves are lavishly decorated and the tombs are housed in extravagant mausoleums or mini houses. As they pray, Filipinos light up candles. This has a religious symbolism. According to beliefs, the candles serve as light that reaches their dead relatives. Thus, they light up those even in broad daylight.
Some families make Halloween a family day outdoor. They bring along food and recreational items, as if they would go to a picnic. But the odd thing is that those families head not to the theme parks but to cemeteries. For quite some time, Halloween in the country has been noted by this weird practice. Many foreigners and observers are delighted and awed to see this tradition. More surprisingly, some families even decide to stay up in cemeteries overnight. Thus, such grave areas instantly turn into hot party places where people dance the night away, socialize, and enjoy sumptuous meals. Some people prefer to attend church masses. Again, this has a logical and obvious religious perspective in it.
Some families pay hefty amounts for the priest to mention the names of their deceased relatives during the mass. Some priests and even deacons go to the cemeteries to bless the graves, to the delight of the families. How about parties? In the rural areas of the country, teenagers gather to organize a group that would serenade homes. This could be their version of the Western World’s trick or treat. Instead of candies, homeowners give money, which when accumulated could go to noble causes like building up a church or helping charities. Modern Halloween celebrations are starting to catch up in the Philippines. Being exposed to western cultures, Filipinos are now starting to adapt the concept of trick or treat. Costume and mask parties are also becoming popular among party animals. It could flood booze and great food in this part of the world during Halloween. It is simply f-u-n!