All Souls’ Day on the Philippines
How do Filipinos honor the dead?
Weeks before this holiday, Filipinos go to their respected cemeteries to clean the graves of their love ones. They beautify the surroundings for those special days. Families decorate the tombs with candles, flowers, and some with things that would remind them of their love ones. Others would just repair and repaint the damage that have happened to the tomb over time, and just put simple candles in front of the tomb.
Most Filipinos go to the cemetery to visit the graves of deceased relatives and friends. Some prefer to go on Oct. 31st or Nov. 1st, while some go to the cemetery for three straight days. Others would spend the night at their loved ones.
Little information about All Soul’s Day from history.
One of my favorite skull image options has always been the Calavera style. Damn, this is really cool, if ordinary gloomy turtle’s scares someone, then the cheerful, painted calavera’s cannot but arouse sympathy. Today, the trend is to put paintings in the skulls. They can be seen on people’s clothes or tattoos; it is fashionable to arrange photo shoots with appropriate makeup. Actually, I welcome all these manifestations. If one of the lovely ladies will draw a calavera on her face people may wonder what does it mean, then this article will be very useful to them. It all started in the Philippines ...
The day of the Dead
Translated from the Spanish calavera means, strangely enough, “skull”. In the Philippines, it symbolizes all soul’s day, to which they are treated with great honor. all soul’s day appeared as a result of the merger of two cultures - Spanish and Native American. Conquistadors, who came from the Old World, tried in every possible way to eradicate pagan culture and instill their traditions.
Among the imposed Catholic holidays were All Saints Day and Commemoration of the Dead, falling on November 1 and 2. During the celebration among other things, it was supposed to make donations and offerings to church altars. In theory, this was supposed to help the souls of the dead reduce the time of a sad pastime in purgatory and quickly go to paradise.
However, the burnt pagans took everything in their own way. Before conquering the Europeans, they naturally had their own rituals associated with the bony. They had two holidays it’s All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The result of this mixture was two holidays that are still celebrated in Cebu not just Cebu but the entire Philippines - Day of the Angels (Dia de los Angelitos) and Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). They are celebrated on November 1 and 2 and are also divided by age. Instead of donating to the church, the Filipinos began to offer gifts to the dead themselves.
Since death, according to the Filipinos it is considered a bright start on the Day of the Dead, it is customary to make noise and have fun. It was believed that on the night of November 1 to 2, the souls of the dead return to stay with their loved ones. Therefore, Filipinos often gather in families or communities and spend time in cemeteries.
Every All Saints Day people in the Philippines put food in the Altar because they believed that saints may visit to their house and maybe they are hungry, also they believed that if you put in the altar you received a lot of blessings the more food you give the more blessings you will receives. While in All Souls day people bring foods, candles and flowers to the cemetery because they also believed that their love ones who already passed away was given a chance to visit Earth. They believed that the souls will eat the food that they prepared.
According to tradition, fairs and festive processions are organized at this time, the obligatory attribute of which is Calavera Katrina - a skeleton in women's clothing, decorated with flowers and paints. Many believe that she became the embodiment of the death goddess Miktlansiuatl, in honor of which the ancient peoples brought more than one thousand human victims.
Another theory refers to the Mexican illustrator Jose Posad, who lived in the late 19th - early 20th century. Posada became the founder of a series of cartoons on which all layers of the then Mexican society were depicted as skeletons. The main idea of Posad was that regardless of your position, role in society and level of affluence, the same end awaits us all, and in the face of death we are all equal.
The Spanish missionaries tried to give this holiday a gracious appearance, confining it to the Christian Day of the commemoration of all the departed and the Day of All Saints. They managed to achieve the abolition of bloody sacrifices and reduce the monthly revelry to three days. But to replace the joy with sorrow and the skull (the main holiday symbol) - the cross did not work.
Skulls and skeletons are everywhere. In windows, doors, on balconies, on streets, painted on the ground, on walls, on clothes. Sugar tortoises-calavers dominate, smiling and painted in cheerful colors. Composed in beautiful pyramids on the windows of supermarkets, they resemble Aztec companzles - the walls of the vanquished skulls that once stood in every Indian city as decoration, intimidation for enemies and a beloved symbol of life and death as an inextricable couple. And do not be surprised if at the festival you will be presented with a skull with your name - it is from the bottom of our hearts. They are presented to family members and friends. Children prefer chocolate and marzipan or in the form of lollipops.