Photo of the day: All Soul's Day in Sagada

This province high up in the mountains remembers its dead with blazing fire

Photo by Ferdz Decena

Cemeteries in the Philippines come alive during All Soul's Day - known locally as Undas - when families converge by the graves of their departed loved ones to light candles and offer flowers in their memory. 

In Sagada, a mountainous province in Northern Luzon, the practice is slightly different - with bonfires on each grave setting cemeteries ablaze in a local tradition called Panag-apoy, meaning "to light a fire". Held on the first of November, the ritual begins with a mass before sunset, where torches - made from the wood of old pine trees - are blessed before they are lit. The torches then pass on the flame to the bonfires on the graves, which are left to burn well into the night. 

For more from Ferdz Decena, visit his blog, Ironwulf

Published October 2015