Day of the Dead is for the living
The ‘Day of the Dead’ is a celebration of life. It is an about 3,000-year-old Mexican tradition that honors the dearly departed. In Manila, it is celebrated as well with a picturesque street party. People eat, drink and are merry all night long. The Day of the Dead in the Philippines is a festival more for the living, who throng cemeteries to picnic and commune with their loved ones. The feast is as better known as All Saint’s Day or All Soul’s Day in the Catholic communities. It is little-known elsewhere in Asia.
After igniting candles and praying at the graves of their cherished ones, Filipino families spend the entire day in the graveyards, eating and chatting. In Manila, traffic around cemeteries is on a stillstand. Street vendors are trading food, flowers, and candles. From all the gravesides the North Cemetery is the city’s most prominent, attracting up to 3 million visitors during the two-day feast. The Day of the Dead is a celebration of life. It is less about grieving and more about the lively memory of those who departed. Skulls and skeletons are prominent features and the principal theme. Easy to spot on brightly painted faces, vibrant costumes, and even in food and sweets.