In the Philippines, November 1 is marked as Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead) and is jointly celebrated with All Saints Day (the next day), as designated by the Roman Catholic Church. Filipinos mark this date as an almost festive event and the day has an atmosphere of a family reunion. It is said to be an “opportunity to be with the departed.”
When November 1 hits the calendar, the “Araw ng mga Patay” becomes more than a celebration of the solemn and collective remembrance of dead. The festive atmosphere lasts till the next day, which is the All Souls Day. Catholics in the Philippines lead in this tradition. As a national holiday, cemeteries throughout the country are full of families and visitors ckeeping vigil or camping all day or all night at gravesides with candles, lights, food, music and a general friendly atmosphere of companionship. It is best to avoid cemeteries or roads leading to cemeteries at this day due to the heavy traffic.
Long live Philippine traditions!