Thursday Talks: How Do We Celebrate Halloween in the Philippines?

Thursday Talks Banner

Hello, lovely bookworms! Happy Halloween!!!

How are y’all doing today? Are you having fun doing the trick or treat? Or are you enjoying the chilling vibes by staying home and either reading a book or watching scary movies and shows?

I’m the latter. I’m here at home, going to finish a book I’m currently reading and maybe, watch a horror movie afterward. I want to do the treat or trick thing and dress myself up into some kind of a monster or a favorite villain character, but unfortunately, unlike in other countries, we don’t really celebrate it the same manner.

Halloween in the Philippines is a little bit different from how everyone celebrates it. We don’t carve pumpkins or do the trick or treat. Though nowadays, some people already started practicing the treat or trick, yet it is not a thing here in my country. People who practice it mostly go to subdivisions/villages and malls because they can get treats from those places than the typical residential areas.

Anyway, instead of celebrating Halloween as how it was done in other places, we do it differently because of our strong Catholic background. We spend these days remembering our dead loved ones. We visit their graves and spend there the entire day. And yes, most of us like setting up a camp around the burial place where we can spend the night. Sometimes, we also consider this holiday as a way to reunite with your relatives and spend time with them too. We celebrate Halloween by burning a candle, bringing new flowers, offering prayers to the dead, and visiting our dead loved ones in the cemeteries and memorial parks.

Our tradition usually goes this way:

  • Before Halloween, some of us usually visit the graves of our loved ones to clean it. Some people also travel back to their provinces, so expect a hard time traveling during these times because it is already anticipated that the trips on airports, ships, and busses are already fully booked. Some employees and students are given a whole day off to give them the chance to leave early and avoid the hassle of going back to their hometowns.
  • On October 31, most people are already prepared to go to the cemeteries and memorial parks. Most of them have brought with them candles, flowers, and food and drinks that they can eat while staying there. If you forgot to prepare some, there are vendors outside the cemeteries and memorial parks who sell candles and flowers, even food and drinks.
  • On November 1, All Saints’ Day, most people are already going to the cemeteries and memorial parks. So, expect that the security of those areas would be tight already. The traffic and such should also be expected.
  • On November 2, All Souls’ Day, some people who didn’t go on November 1 are going that day to cemeteries and memorial parks because they are expecting lesser crowded places. Also, some are already traveling back to the cities from their provinces because they have work the next day.

Line Divider

It might be not as fun as how westerners celebrate Halloween, but I can guarantee you that our celebration is not either boring. Just like what I’ve said before, we also take this holiday as a way to reunite with our families since most of us live far from each other and we can only see each other during this time. While staying in the cemetery, we can have a picnic-like reunion there with our families. We’ll have conversations while eating the food and drinks that everyone has brought there. It feels solemn and fun at the same time!

And that’s how we celebrate Halloween in the Philippines!

Line Divider


How do you celebrate Halloween? Do you also celebrate it differently from how others do it?

Line Divider

Alys Signature

Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | FB Page