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What is Todos los Santos, Undas or Araw ng mga Patay?

(Photo Credit: gov.ph)

The feast of Todos los Santos (The Day of All Saints or All Saints' Day), is celebrated every 1st of November or the first Sunday of Pentecost commemorating all saints, known or not. The day it was called Halloween in English, the equivalent of "Ang Bisperas ng Todos los Santos" or "Gabi ng Pangangaluluwa." The Todos los Santos is also one of the Christian way to ask for help from saints and martyrs, known or not. In the Philippines, this commonly called Araw ng mga Patay, Pista ng Patay or Undas is devoted to visiting the tombs of deceased loved ones where they offer prayers, flowers and candles.

"Ang pamilya ang matatag na pundasyon ng ating bansa. Maigting na binubuklod ang pamilyang Pilipino ng paggalang sa ating mga ninuno at mga namayapa. Ngayong Undas, isang bansa po nating ginugunita ang mga yumao nating mahal sa buhay; dumadalaw sa kanilang mga puntod, nagsasalo-salo, at nag-aalay ng panalangin"
- President Benigno S. Aquino III (October 30, 2012)

Basically like a happy meeting of relatives. Saying that today is "isang pakakataon upang makapiling” ang mga mahal na yumao" once a year. Tombs are cleaned or repainted, candles are lit, and flowers are offered. Entire families camp in cemeteries and sometimes spend a night or two near their relatives' tombs. Card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing are common activities in the cemetery. It is considered a very important holiday by many Filipinos (after Christmas and Holy Week), and additional days are normally given as special nonworking holidays (but only November 1 is a regular holiday).

How do you usually spend your All Souls Day?

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