How is Halloween in the Philippines celebrated?
Celebration of Halloween, All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day is pretty much different compared to western countries. These are one of the most important holidays in the Philippines. Since Filipino people has strong family ties, even in the grave it is still being observed. While compared in western world where people goes partying, trick or treat. In the Philippines this is the time for reminiscing the memories and remembering deceased love ones and friends. I remember when I was a kid, during this time of the year my mother always ask me to write names of our deceased relatives and whoever we can remember to write it on the piece of paper and put it in our altar. My mother cooks some biko or rice cake and put some in a plate and placed it in the altar too together with a couple of cigarettes, wine and other foods that she prepared. I cant help but asked why is there plenty foods in the altar? My mother replied “It is for the souls to eat”. Huh? Do souls eat too? Well, I was just a kid back then so I believed and until now I still do. : ).
Anyway, this time of the year is when the cemetery is the busiest place in the Philippines. Weeks and days before this, families already visit the graves and do some cleaning and tidying on every ones graveyards preparing for the coming day. The celebration usually last from the evening of October 31 up to November 2 every year. It is where people goes back to their hometowns for a vacation to visit graves and it also falls on school kids holidays because it is countries public holiday.
During the All Soul’s Day, people prepare foods like biko and many more to offer in the altar. Many people specially Christians and Catholics goes to church to pray for their loved ones. Some goes to the cemetery and spend overnight lighting candles and offering flowers to the graves.
Even now in modern days this is still being practiced, this just only shows how family oriented Filipinos are.