There are few practices that we Catholics follow during Holy Week or Cuaresma. Some of us retell the story of Christ through readings and passion plays called “Senakulo”, while others attend mass every day to recall the life and death of Jesus. Aside from practices, we also have superstitions. Believing in such is a common thing for us Filipinos, even before the time of our ancestors. Here are some:
Palaspas protects the house from evil spirits
Every Palm Sunday or Linggo ng Palaspas, my family and I go early to Church with our Palaspas or decorative palm leaves. In our small subdivision, there’s like a short parade before the mass officially starts. This serves as the opening act for the celebration of Semana Santa.
The “palaspas” will be blessed by the priest and must be taken home. My father will put those blessed palm leaves on our doors and windows (replacing our old ones from last year) as according to him, it will protect our home from evil spirits. I’m not really sure if that works, but like my Mother said, "hindi naman masamang maniwala” [there’s no harm in believing].
Wounds take a longer time to heal
I believe in this one because I have a similar experience. A few years ago, one of my sisters caught a wound during Holy Week and she said it really took a long time before it healed completely. I guess that’s the main reason why my parents don’t let us go out and enjoy during Holy Week, especially on Good Friday and Black Saturday.
Evil spirits are stronger
Another reason why we’re not allowed to go out on Holy Week. My Father said evil spirits are stronger during Good Friday and Black Saturday because these are the days that Jesus Christ died. This sounds too creepy for me. I admit I’m such a weakling when it comes to superstitions like this, so I’d rather shut myself inside my room.
Don’t take a bath on Good Friday and Black Saturday
For some, they’re not allowed to take a bath only on 3:00 PM of Good Friday. But in our family, we’re prohibited to take a bath for two days - Good Friday and Black Saturday. So the ending, we siblings have to wait for midnight of Easter Sunday to smell good again.
According to some friends, the reason behind this is that evil will befall a person if he/she takes a bath on Good Friday. I don’t find that rationale concrete, but Mom goes back to her original reasoning: "hindi naman masamang maniwala”.
These are only the Holy Week superstitions that I and my family believe in. But I know that there are still more out there. If you know one, you can share it below.
Have a blessed Holy Week, everyone. I hope we use this special time to reflect on what Jesus Christ did for all of us.