Do we really have a feast for the dead people? Some Filipinos named November 1st “Araw ng mga patay,” “Pyesta ng mga patay,” or simply “Pyestang Patay” that would literally mean dead feast – a feast that has no life. Weird as it sounds, but Filipinos are so accustomed to the name and to their idea of the day that they don’t bother to analyze what they are doing and saying.
November 1 is All Saints Day or what others call Todos los Santos. It is not about dead people or about celebrating their death. We celebrate life, not death. We commemorate the life of our loved ones who, though physically dead, are more alive than when they were with their bodies. We are also praying for them not because they are not holy enough to be with God in heaven, but because we acknowledge their imperfection as human beings. We believe that they are destined for heaven, and that they might be with God already. But there is still a possibility that they are not perfected yet for their new life, just like a gold piece is being perfected on fire, experiencing the cleansing heat of furnace. It doesn’t mean they are not gold because they go through that suffering; instead, God purifies them to make their real worth show.
As the Scripture says, “God is not God of the dead but of the living,” and so we don’t exult death, and we don’t have feast for dead people. We celebrate the entrance of God’s saint’s into their new life – a life where sin, sufferings, hunger, diseases, and death exist no more. We are praising the Artist for his masterpieces and praying that he would finish his work on those who haven’t had his last touch yet.
Araw ng mga patay?