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All Saints’ Day
UNLIKE in the past, Filipinos celebrate this year’s “All Saints’ Day” and “All Souls’ Day” in their homes and churches owing to the still raging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Filipino tradition of honoring the saints and deceased relatives and other loved ones is not expected to get away that easy in the near future.
Family members who are now in other places, including those living and working in foreign lands, usually time their vacation to the country during these special occasions.
“Nagsisilbing family reunion ang pagbisita sa mga sementeryo tuwing “Araw ng mga Santo” at “Araw ng mga Patay,” according to a visiting half-Pinoy from the United States.
In this predominantly Christian nation of more than 110 million people, the two-day annual celebration is observed with special solemnity as a tribute to saints and deceased loved ones.
In the Philippines and other Christian countries, people mark “All Saints’ Day” and “All Souls’ Day” on November 1 and 2, respecitvely, flocking to cemeteries and memorial parks.
“All Saints’ Day” is an annual religious holiday in the country similar to the Mexican tradition of “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead,” which also includes “All Souls’ Day.”
This year, however, national and local government authorities decreed the closure of all public and private cemeteries and memorial parks from October 29 to November 2
This is to prevent the twin celebrations from becoming superspreaders of the deadly and highly-infectious COVID-19, which continues to claim lives of people across the globe.
Unlike other traditions in graft-prone Philippines, the nationwide celebration of “All Saints’ Day” and “All Souls’ Day” is seen to survive the onslaught of modern technology.