All Saint’s Day
All Saints’ Day is an important day in many Catholic countries. As the Philippines is the world’s third-largest Catholic country, the country celebrates it with gusto. Traditionally, All Saints’ Day marks a Roman Catholic holiday that celebrates saints who were not awarded their own feast days. It also marks a celebration of the lives of the deceased.
All Saints’ Day in the Philippines is celebrated similarly to the way the holiday is marked in other former Spanish colonies like Mexico. On November 1st each year, people flock to their family plots in cemeteries across the country. They also use this holiday to hold a family reunion where groups of extended family gather together.
The day is filled with music and food. There are also prayer and religious traditions. At the end of the day, people will often camp overnight in the cemetery to pay their respects to their dead relatives. Visitors remark that Filipinos are remarkably at home among their dead ancestors.
Filipinos are known for having great respect for their dead. To prepare for Undas, families will visit the graves of their ancestors before the holiday to clean up the area and perform maintenance. During the holiday, people will decorate graves with flowers and candles. The cemeteries will come alive during this period.
In addition to these traditions, other Catholic traditions are also observed. Many cemeteries will hold a special mass during the day. The rest of the day is often marked by periods of prayer and the recitation of the Litany for the Dead.
This holiday is a mix of the observance of the dead and a joyful holiday. Families bring plenty of food and drink for their dead relatives. Some believe that the deceased is taking part in the feast alongside the living. While most bring food directly to the cemetery, other families will also leave food at home on altars for any relatives who aren’t buried in the cemetery.
The Philippines is the largest Christian country in Asia. As a result, much of the country shuts down over these two days. Offices and schools both close during this period.
Credits to: Public Holidays Global