The 'aswangs' or Filipino vampires are said to come out of their hiding places on Good Friday. This is just one of eight Holy Week superstitions that many Filipino-Australians may have long forgotten or probably never knew.

The Holy Week is a time for reflection and self-examination. More than anything else, it is also a time to practice and celebrate the Catholic faith.

But Filipinos are a superstitious bunch and even the lent period cannot escape this part of the national psyche.

Here are just eight of these superstitious beliefs. Just don’t let them drag you away from the real reason of the season!

No. 1 On Palm Sunday, right after the Mass, and after the palm leaves are blessed, the palaspas is supposed to be placed on the door to help keep away evil and bad luck. The palaspas is said to be a good protector for the home.

The palm leaves are also said to help cure stomachache, headaches, and rashes when mixed with coconut oil.

No. 2 Some parents warn their children that injuries and wounds incurred during the Holy Week tend to heal really slow. Many believe that this is one way of keeping children quiet and away from trouble.

Palaspas tradition

Palaspas tradition

No. 3 On Good Friday, one should avoid taking a bath or showering , or even doing laundry, at 3pm. It is believed that evil will befall anyone who takes this superstition for granted. Three in the afternoon is known as the hour when Jesus died. In addition, anyone who uses a hammer or a knife for cutting on Good Friday will be unlucky. This belief extends until Black Saturday, as Jesus is still dead at that time.

No. 4 Good Friday is also said to be the day when aswangs  (Filipino equivalent to the mythical vampire) are believed to be in their best element. Therefore, they will all come out of their hiding places and cause trouble to anyone who crosses them, or anyone who passes their way.

No. 5 Amulets and charms are believed to become more empowered on Good Friday. Faith healers or witch doctors (albularyos), they say, also become more powerful on this day.

No. 6 In the morning of Black Saturday, parents tell their children to leap or jump high before the church bells ring. Doing this, they believe, will help the children grow taller.

No. 7 On Black Saturday evening, children are awakened by their parents at ten so they can eat meat. This, they say, will prevent the children from going deaf.

No. 8 Rain that falls on Easter Sunday is believed to be holy water, which means it has healing powers.

Re-post from an article titled “Superstitious Beliefs for the Holy Week”, published online by Kimirai.



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