Sunday, November 7
All Souls Day is in fact 2 November but in the Cook Islands it is now customary for the Catholic Church to celebrate the eve of All Souls Day on 1 November in a local festival called Turama.
The main focus of this is the Catholic cemetery at Panama.
In the days leading up to Turama family members clean and paint their loved one’s graves and decorate them with flowers and candles. Water is blessed at a requiem Mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral in town then there is a short prayer service at the cemetery. As the sun goes down the choir sings hymns while priests sprinkle water on the graves. In the candlelight people have time to remember those who have passed away and to ask God to grant the dead the joy and peace of eternal life.
Turama is a colourful but peaceful occasion. There is an earlier video and more information about Turama here.