This coming November 1 and 2 is El Dia de Todos Los Santos (All Saints Day) and El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead or All Souls Day) respectively in the Philippines, it is a public Holiday which we celebrate yearly in honor of the Saints and our dead love ones. Also Spanish in origin, being celebrated by almost all Spanish speaking countries in the world. But El Dia de los Muertos is Mexican in origin, it was a ritual the indigenous people have been practising for at least 3000 years during the Pre Colombian era.
In the Philippines, we celebrate El Dia de todos los Santos and El Dia de los Muertos at the same time in November 1, although officially, we should celebrate El Dia de los Muertos on November 2. Most Filipinos go to the cemetery in the morning and we offer flowers and candles to our dead love ones, we stay there until evening but some stay until early in the morning the next day November 2. A day or 2 before El Dia de Todos los Santos, Candles and different kinds of flower sells like hot cakes and their prices becomes even more expensive on the day itself.
I remember when i was small, my cousins and I, we used to collect the drippings or the melted wax from candles and create different shapes with it like balls, human beings and others and then put the year under the base of it, for us to remember the year it was created. The atmosphere was solemn at the cemetery but at the same time it has a festive feeling that goes with it and I remember how colorful it was and have a distinct smell because of the flowers and the burning candles. Both of my Grand mothers and 3 of my siblings are buried there in the cemetery, so some of our relatives and friends, they usually come to pay their respect every November 1st. And in the evening, where we used to live, you will see children playing in the street with their home made toy cars made of cans and pieces of wood, being drag with a long piece of twine and on the toy car is the left over candles and their collected candle drippings from the cemetery. You will here the loud sound of cans being drag by children and the smell of burning candles all over the street. Unfortunately, nobody do that anymore, that tradition just died out. In the Philippines, sometimes we call El Dia de todos los Santos as "Undras" and El Dia de los Muertos as "Araw ng mga Patay" but i prefer to call them as it is.
About All Saints Day (El Dia de Todos los Santos), click HERE .