Turama or All Souls Day is the special time of year when Cook Islands graves are decorated with artificial or scented fresh flowers and candles to remember and honor deceased loved ones.
Days before the event, families and friends can be seen beautifying their graves – cleaning, painting and redecorating their graves and preparing flower arrangements.
In Catholic tradition, Turama begins at sunset from November 1 to November 2, when the Catholic faith holds services to commemorate the dead.
Bishop Paul Donoghue explains that in the Catholic community, the feast of the dead is the time when we believe and pray for our loved ones who have passed away and who may still be on their way to heaven, who still need our help. .
“They are our loved ones, and it is important that we do not forget them and that we can always help them,” he said.
The Catholic Diocese of Rarotonga holds a mass for the dead before visiting the graves of Catholics and non-Catholics in the districts.
The graves are illuminated with candles or solar lights and families welcome Catholic processions which organize a short prayer service and the sprinkling of holy water.
All Saints’ Day began at sunset on October 31 until November 1; this opportunity is for those who are in heaven (they have completed the journey) – they are appointed saints, including those who have died a holy death, Bishop Donoghue said. Every year more and more people in Rarotonga get involved in decorating their graves on the Day of the Dead – the beautiful colorful assortments of flower decorations are quite unique on the island.