What Halloween Means to Me

Posted Wednesday November 1, 2023

In the Philippines, people don’t celebrate Halloween by partying or dressing up in scary costumes. In fact, we spend this time in a very different way. November 1st is what we all All Saints’ Day (Undas in my home language of Tagalog, or Todos los Santos in a Spanish dialect that is also used in the Philippines). This day is dedicated to honouring and remembering all the official Saints and is a time for the Filipino people to visit cemeteries, clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones, and offer prayers and candles. It’s a day for praying respectfully to the saintly deceased.

The following day, November 2nd is All Souls’ Day (Araw ng Kaluluwa or Todos los Difuntos). This day is dedicated to remembering and praying for all souls, especially those who have passed away but are not yet canonized as saints, like our deceased family members. Families often continue to visit cemeteries, light candles, and offer prayers on All Souls’ Day.

These two days are very important to Filipino culture, and many people take the opportunity to spend time with their families, pay homage to their ancestors, and remember those who have passed away. It’s a time for reflection, respect, and traditions related to honouring the dead.

Tracy Cesar - Filipino Year 12 student and basketball player! 😊