“UNDAS: The Filipinos Way of Celebrating All Souls’ Day”

“And, when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of Heaven so fine that the entire world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.”

Every November 1, all Filipinos celebrate the feast of all Souls, respecting and fondly remembering the deceased relatives, friends and loved ones. However, looking at the calendar this date should be the time to venerate all the saints’ but as the years go by, people prefer to celebrate it on the second of November. We have different custom and tradition related with All Souls’ Day. Filipinos are very affectionate, that even death could not separate one from another. It is the common belief that the souls of the departed relatives should be given honor to make them happy in perpetuity.

Anywhere in the Philippines, people are busy preparing packing their bags to visit relatives in the provinces and spend time with them and make it sure to have a special moment with their long lost relatives, friends or loved ones. The day for the living and dead to be reunited. The relatives whitewash and clean the tombstones in the cemetery make it beautiful and delightful, for the reason that people may know that this precious lay is remembered. They also cook the favorite foods of the departed relatives place some of it in the altar at home and bring the rest in the cemetery believing that dead partake of the food in spirit which the living eat later. Not only that, spending money and time are not counted, some offer expensive flowers and candles that are beautifully arranged, yet those who are less fortunate never forget to offer those to their beloved deceased relatives. Flowers as they said, serve as a living memory reminding us that once these people had remained close to us and they, like us, had once been fascinated by the beauty and color of life.

At night, candle is lit for each soul of the departed relatives believing that they will be given a brighter way to visit home. Children take time to find empty cans and coconut shell then make scary images or any designs they’ve like and then lit a candle inside it and roam around the street. With all those things, prayer is most likely requested by our deceased relatives the reason why, every time you’ve visited their tomb praying the novenas should be offered…and talk to them as if they were alive…

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