It has been, what, 2 years since the pandemic started? And since that day, almost all occasion has never been the same. Well, at least, here where I live in.
Our 2019 Halloween, the first Halloween since the quarantine was very sad. I couldn't believe I wasn't able to go to my father's grave to pay my visit. It was supposedly the first time I was able to since I came back from Manila. We went to the cemetery 5 days after Nov 1st. We just lit a candle and offered flowers prayed and went home. We were wearing masks.
The second Halloween during this pandemic (2020) was as sad as the first. We also went there on the 5th. Lit a candle, brought flowers, prayed, and went home. We didn't have the time to even visit our relatives' graves.
And now. Yes, you guessed it right. We are planning to go on the 5th again. I just hope we can stay a little bit longer. Have a snack and just stay there. Sit for a while and just tell stories.
You might be thinking, "wait, what? have a snack? Sit? On the grave? Beside the grave?" Well, yes. I don't know how other countries celebrate Halloween. But here's in the Philippines, we go to the cemetery to honor our deceased loved ones. On November 1st and 2nd, we go to the cemetery and have a picnic there with our relatives. It's like Dia De Los Muertos . Like in the animated movie "Coco".
When my father was still alive, we go to our deceased relatives' graves with our other relatives to have a picnic and go 'grave hopping' to our deceased relatives' graves. We sit for a while and eat with our relatives' kin then visit our other deceased loved one's grave next.
But when my father passed away, we stay in his grave longer than to other relatives' graves, where we now wait for Papa's visitors. It was still fun, though (except the first few years since my dad passed away). Children fly kites. We made friends with the family of Papa's 'neighbor' in the cemetery. Yes, we called them Papa's neighbor. It's the time of the year when we get to interact with them.
There were also tons of booths where you can buy food and other stuff. People are everywhere. People were having fun with their relatives and people are celebrating. Some people even set up their tent and stayed there for a night. I haven't experienced it yet but I think it's fun. It's safe cause there are police and guards all over the place and there are (police) stations set up in every block 9or maybe every 2 blocks) for safety. It isn't so dark as well as there are many posts and some very bright lights that were set up for people.
It was fun, I'm not gonna lie. Of course, it wasn't during the first few years when we were still grieving for Papa's death. We still miss him. It's just that it's fun in how the way we celebrate this holiday. It's not like we love having our loved one die. That's a different story.
I think it was our version of treat or trick. Although we also have the costume parties before, on, or after Nov. 1st. I think Filipinos are just really used to celebrating a holiday longer than usual. Like Christmas. We start decorating and playing Christmas songs as early as September and we call it the start of 'ber months.
What about you? How do you celebrate your Halloween?