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Traditions: Feast Days

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I’ve lived most of my life in a small town, which has pretty much stuck to its own traditions for generations.

Just tonight, I went with my mother to participate in the twilight procession of the image of St. Anthony of Padua. He is believed to be the patron saint of Miracles, and also for finding lost and stolen articles. Every thirteenth of the month, droves of devotees come to my hometown and give alms, or attend masses said in the his honor.  It is not exactly a surprise anymore to see people set up commercial pop-up shops a couple of days prior to the monthly feast day. These “avenues” offer the locals commercial opportunities.

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The She-man society was the one in-charge of decorating the pedestal that carried the image.

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A side display of Baby’s breath…always a beauty.

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Catholic practices are altered considerably, as pagan practices are still in effect. It’s also been part of tradition for those who participate to take  the flowers after the event. In the past it was really very bad, a violent show of grabbing and plucking and shuffling. For tonight’s procession, however, the people were calm while the person above, wearing black, implored that they let the assistants get the bowls of roses first, so they could be placed on the altar.  Much to my surprise, everyone followed accordingly.

Sometimes, it can be baffling how some people can do things one way, and say things another way, but this is one of the traditions of Sibulan. It is constant and might not change, not for a very long time, at least, until people would think that there was a better way to do it.