During Halloween, it is believed that the veil that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead becomes thinner, thus allowing spirits to return to the physical plane. This might explain why we get a close-encounter with spirits during this time – and possibly the reason why we go trick-or-treating and dress up as ghosts, too.
However, in Pampanga, instead of the usual trick-or-treating, children and adults alike would arm themselves not with candy baskets, but with their voices and musical instruments, alongside copies of songs and hymns to patron saints.
This practice is known to the Kapampangans as Góso.
Góso is akin to the Christmas practice of carolling, but is done during Halloween, or the eve before Daun (All Saints’ Day). Kapampangans believe that their act of singing is a prayer to the dead, and during this time, their prayers would be heard even clearer. These are sung to ask help from saints to pray for the dead as well.
The spirit of Daun, or offering, is also alive within the practice of Góso, as the singers would often receive offerings from the homes they visit. These come in the form of food, such as chickens, eggs, or vegetables. Nowadays however, families offer monetary donations, and these are given to the church as donations.
In the early days, however, singers who would not receive a gift or an offering to the dead would grab a chicken or any food from the house of their would-be donors. Thus, families who find that chickens or food gone from their home during Daun should not be alarmed, nor should they be agitated, as these are offerings for the dead.
These offerings are a way of appeasing the spirits, making them one with the celebration of Daun, which is also known as the Kapampangan Harvest Festival.
Góso songs (gosongs hehehe) usually carry an upbeat tune, despite the fact that they are songs for the dead. This is because they’re viewed as songs to make the spirits happy.
So, if you don’t want to see your chickens missing at home, make sure to offer something to Góso singers!