Halloween celebration is just new here in the Philippines and in fact a very commercialized one at that since it’s the time shopping malls promote their costumes for sale. It’s all good really. As it’s something new to look forward to for kids of all ages, especially those who wants to dress up.
Here in the Philippines, what is sought for celebration is the All Souls Day and All Saints Day (November 1 and November 2 respectively) and is called Undas in the local language. Owing it to our Catholic upbringing being the largest Catholic Asian country, we have this kind celebration.
All Saints day is the day we remeber all the saints in heaven. All Souls day is the day we remember our dead. Some myths about this day is that this is the time when the souls of the departed visits the earth and their loved ones. So offering prayers for them, lighting up candles for them and visiting their grave will make the visit much pleasant.
This is usually one of the days when families gather, just like during Christmas and New Years. They gather at the grave or just at home have some feast, offer mass and light some candles. It’s ironic sometimes that some families are only able to gather when someone gets married or someone dies, Undas and Christmas aside.
However, since the times are changing the tradition changes too, and I think this year, since there is no long weekend or long holiday this Undas, some would just attend mass or just light candles at their homes since they can no longer visit their loved ones grave.
Which brings me to missing my dad again. Because these were one of the times I remember him lining up a dozen candles naming each one of them to represent a soul of a departed close relatives and friends. I use to watch him do it and ask who was the candle for. Now I will do this tradition alone, with him as one of the loved ones I am gonna light a candle for. Sigh.
How about you, what do you do during Undas/All souls day? Do you have such tradition from where you are?
Did you know that you can now light a candle online?