1.11.07

All Saint's Day in my country

There's a long stretch of holiday towards All Saints Day here in the Philippines. Ours is not much of a 'halloweeny' Halloween much like in the United States. People here spend their Halloween time mostly in memorial parks, cemeteries and columbariums. Local folks look forward to All Saints Day because it serves as day for reunions, where families gather together, eat and yes do some reflecting:-) At the memorial parks, they camp out, bring food and other goodies, sing sometimes -- feels like a fiesta.

Catholic church authorities called on the faithful to tone down the festive mood. Instead, concentrate on remembering the dead. Minimize the party-like atmosphere to give way to a more appropriate subdued remembrance of the dearly departed. I am not sure if anyone heeded this call.

For our family, it has been customary that an hour before midnight we light up white candles at our doorsteps. After that, we offer a little prayer for relatives who had passed on to the next life. My mom used to tell me that lighting up candles signified oneness with the dead. I have no qualms about that -- if only for a day :-)