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Filipinos celebrate family, ancestors during Halloween events

October 18, 2017

The Philippines, well known as the largest Catholic country in Asia, celebrates Halloween like the United States does, but in a different style. While American children parade from one house to another, then knock on the doors and scream out “trick or treat!,” that won’t happen in Philippines. The event is more quiet and religious.

Filipinos prioritize togetherness between family and its ancestors who have died, while the U.S. accentuates the party and more fun things to do, such as wearing spooky costume or sharing candies with the children.

Halloween in the Philippines runs Oct. 31 until Nov. 2 with most Filipinos celebrating the last day as the biggest. The government gives those days as a break for whole country. So what do people usually with the extra days?

Days before holiday
Some people that live further from their hometown consider traveling back to their hometown just to visit their loved ones that have died.

Eve of Oct. 31
People gather with their own family in their hometown. They usually are busy by that time — buying candles, flowers and some foods and bring them to cemetery.

Oct. 31
Filipinos begin this day or the week before it by going to the cemetery, putting flowers in the graveyard, cleaning floors, cutting the grasses. These all symbolize a respectful manner to their ancestors.

Nov. 1
Catholics in this country call it All Saints Day. The day is to memorialize the souls. People go to cemeteries and pray, paying tribute to the dead people that were dedicated to their family.

Nov. 2
All Souls Day is the last day of Halloween celebration. Some people return to work again but a few still tend to pray in the cemeteries.

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