Thelma is a Filipina Expat living in Germany. She shares her Philippines life and travel experiences about her beautiful home country.
Philippines is an Asian country of 7,707 islands. It is the only catholic country in Southeast Asia with more than 83% Catholics. A catholic country with a lot of superstitious beliefs and traditions. There is no Thanksgiving Day celebration in the Philippines although some Filipino-Americans are adopting Thanksgiving Day Celebration at home. Nowadays, Halloween parties are being practiced everywhere at work, schools, on television as well as at home.
The Filipinos celebrate All Saints Day on the 1st of November and All Souls Day on the 2nd of November every year. These are the days when lots of Filipinos, who are working far from their families, go home to their families to celebrate and commemorate the days of their dead relatives.
Weeks and days before November, the Filipinos go to their respected cemeteries to clean the graves of their love ones. They are so busy with getting rid of the grasses and garbage that surrounds the graves. Some painted the wall, polishing the names, putting tiles to the floor and putting ceiling of the their dead's "houses". They beautify the surroundings for those special days. They do these things as they stay at the graveyard for more than two hours and even stay there overnight. Yes, overnight as they vigil and sleep in the graveyard with the other relatives while celebrating the All Saints and All Souls Days. There is no celebration without food and plays. They eat, sing with karaoke and even dance at their graveyards.
The 9 days novena is being prayed. The 8 days of the novenas are prayed at home where as the last day, the 9th day novena is being prayed in the cemetery as the final prayer. This prayer is a tribute to the dead that they may rest in peace and that God will save their souls. A priest gives a Mass at the cemetery on those special days.
All Saints Day
All Saints Day is a special day for the parents to celebrate and remember the death of their children. From babies to the young children who die in their early innocent lives. Lives which had just began but early ended due to many sad circumstances in life. This day is called All Saints Day because in my opinion the children were still innocent. They have not committed sins yet.
All Souls Day
All Souls Day is on the second of November. It is the day when the Filipinos give tribute to their dead adult relatives. They prayed for the salvation of their souls.
How The Filipino Celebrate
- Cleaning the graves at least a week before the All Saints Day.
- Organizing 9 Days Novenas at home where the last day Novena is held at the cemetery. A priest gives Mass on those days for the peace and the salvation of the dead' s souls.
- Names of the dead relatives are announced at the Mass in the church. This prayer is for the salvation of their souls.
- Food is prepared for the celebration. From Lumpia to fruitsalad are being prepared and eaten not at home but at the graveyard of the dead relative. Of course the favorite food of the dead relative is being served as well as the other delicious Filipino dishes.
- The relatives gather around the grave and enjoy the celebration by eating, singing, joking, playing cards and many others you can think of.
- They sleep overnight at the grave of their relatives.
My great thanks to my friend Melba and her family, who allowed me to publish the photo of the graveyard of her loving and missed husband.
© 2011 Thelma Alberts
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on October 25, 2017:
Hello Scott. It is nice to see you here. I am glad you like my article. Thanks for commenting. Have a great week.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on October 25, 2017:
Indeed! Thank you very much for your nice comment and for dropping by Marisse Lee.
Scott Andersen on October 25, 2017:
You got my attention and you delivered! I really enjoyed learning about hte traditions of All Saints day! I am always interested in how other cultures approach holidays. Awesome!
Marisse Lee on October 24, 2017:
No celebration is complete without food indeed. Great article.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on October 05, 2015:
I see. Continue writing. You will see there are plenty of Pinays writing in HP as well as in other writing sites online. Thanks for your visit Sheila Pornan.
Sheila Navio-Pornan from Manila, Philippines on October 05, 2015:
I started with a couple of articles from Squidoo but it's just only recently that I decided to write again & get to know more about how HP works. So far so good. :D
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on October 04, 2015:
Thank you very much Sheila Pornan for visiting and commenting on my hub. How come I have not met you here before? Anyway, you are one of those talented Pinoy writers online, I supposed;-))) I´m looking forward to read your hubs, too.
Sheila Navio-Pornan from Manila, Philippines on October 03, 2015:
I was searching if there's already a hub about our (Filipino) All Saints Day & All Souls Day traditions and I stumbled on this informative hub. Thank you for sharing & looking forward to read more!
And awesome to see lots of talented Filipinos here in HP. :)
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on January 13, 2015:
Hi peachpurple! Goodness, no not me spending overnight at the graveyard. It's scary for me. Other people do spend the night there. Thanks for the your visit.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 13, 2015:
wow, you even stayed overnight at the graveyard, very brave! We pray and clean on the same day, no food, just candles and prayer and then go back home.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on July 02, 2012:
Yes, it is very interesting to know other customs and traditions. You´re the first Pagan/Wiccan high priest that I know of. It sounds great. I have to read some more of your hubs to learn how you live and so on;-) Thanks for stopping by.
Dale Hyde from Tropical Paradise on Planet X on July 01, 2012:
Most informative to see how Filipinos celebrate All Saints and All Souls Days. It is always interesting to view the celebrations of others and learn more and more with each reading of such. Myself, as a Pagan/Wiccan High Priest, celebrate Samhain which is our New Year at the time others are celebrating All Souls Day and All Saints Day along with Halloween. Voted up, interesting and useful! Thanks!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on November 27, 2011:
Thanks Nelly A. for commenting.Yes, you are right. We became sophisticated in the Philippines but it is fun as I have experienced it this time. Have a good night sleep.
Nelly A. on November 26, 2011:
Great hub Thelma. Yes we celebrate it cheerfully here. It's like the new year's eve celebration on the graveyard. Philippines has become a bit sophisticated and little kids are not afraid of graveyards anymore. Definitely different 25 or 30 years ago. Folks sometimes call it disrespect to the dead... but you know teenagers, they wouldn't go to graveyards on this special day if parents wouldn't allow them to bring their casette players (years ago). So parents had to agree to have a little party as long as the entire family is present.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on November 21, 2011:
Hi Nell Rose. Thanks for stopping by. To tell you the truth, this was my first time of attending this kind of celebration in my home country for I live in Germany for 30 years. It was not like this before in the 70's, so it came so weird to me having a "party" surrounded with graves.
Nell Rose from England on November 19, 2011:
Hi, what a lovely celebration, I knew other countries did this, but I never realised it happened in the Philippines, thanks for sharing, cheer nell
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on November 15, 2011:
Thank you once again stephaniedas for visiting my hubs and that you enjoyed reading them. I am also looking forward to read all of your hubs. Have a nice day. Take care.
Stephanie Das from Miami, US on November 14, 2011:
This is a great hub, I really felt like I was getting the real deal from you! Thanks forthe educational and interesting hub, I look forward to reading more about your home country.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany and Philippines on November 10, 2011:
Hi Eiddwen! Thanks for dropping by and giving a good comment. Take care as well as have a good day to you and your family.
Eiddwen from Wales on November 09, 2011:
I really enjoyed this well presented hub and here's to so many more to share on here.
I vote up without a doubt.
Take care and have a wonderful day.