Monday, November 2, 2009

ALL Saints and ALL Souls Day

In the USA, there is no spirit of All Saints and All Souls Day. While we were busy and having fun with Halloween's trick and treat, my family in the other end of the world is busy with their religious obligation and busy paying a visit to the cemetery where our loved ones were buried.

During this day, I always remember our whole family goes home to spend the holidays at home. We attend mass and go to the cemetery to light a candle and bring flowers to the tomb of our loved ones. After that, we usually gather around to have some food ... It is during this time that the whole neighborhood will be making different "kakanin" like rice cake, sweet rice, and all types of suman (sweetened rice in banana leaves). You can ask all your neighbor what they are making and you can barter. This is the beauty of living in a community where you know all your neighbors and somehow everybody is kinda related.

I can't do the usual visiting in the cemetery so what I did, is I let my brother offer a mass prayer for me for the souls of our loved ones.

To understand more about this tradition please read... from WikiPilipinas...

Undas (also known as Todos los Santos, Araw ng mga Patay, or All Saints' Day) is a holiday honoring the dead, widely celebrated in the Philippines. Filipino families traditionally visit cemeteries on November 1 or 2, to hold gatherings around the graves of their departed loved ones and lay out flowers and candles. Often the occasion is treated as a reunion or banquet, with families bringing food and drink and camping out all day or even overnight. It is an official, state-recognized holiday, so people get leave from school or work on these days.

Some families visit the cemetery several days in advance to clean up the grave site and repaint the tombstones, so that the graves look more presentable on the day itself. They also offer masses in memory of the faithful departed.

Two or three days before All Saints' Day, sellers of flowers or candles sometimes jack up their prices by as much as 500 percent. People swarm to different flower markets such as the Dangwa Flower Market to buy made to order or ready-made flower arrangements to be offered for their departed loved ones.


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