Christmas In The Philippines

Christmas In The Philippines

Year in and year out, Christmas is the one season that Filipinos gleefully look forward to. Students may feel stressed because of tons of school work, but when the calendar marks the start of the ber months — September, October, November, and December — their spirits lighten up and they excitedly look forward to saving even a small portion of their allowance just to buy gifts for their loved ones.

Being known as the country with the longest Christmas season, Filipinos start the celebration when the ber moths start and even extend it until the Feast of the Epiphany which falls on the fist week of January.

More than the gifts and surprises, do you know what makes Christmas in the Philippines worth celebrating? Let us count some memorable ways which make Christmas in the country extra special.

1. Simbang Gabi

Are you a morning person? Then waking up as early as 4:00 AM is not a problem just to hear the first mass of the day. Who knows, you might complete the nine-day devotion and your wish to the Blessed Virgin Mary might come true. But more than hoping to make your wildest wish become a reality, let us keep in mind the solemnity of this tradition. Through this spiritual preparation before His birth, we mostly feel the presence of the Lord. It does not matter whether one completes the novena or not, it is all about the pureness of one’s intentions.

Christmas In The Philippines

2. Bibingka and Puto Bumbong

Simbang Gabi won’t be complete without the steaming and sumptuous bibingka and puto bumbong. To differentiate the two, bibingka is a rice-flour, egg-based cake which is made up of coconut milk, flour, cheese, water, and eggs. On the other hand, puto bumbong is made up of ube and pandan and is deliciously served with butter or margarine.

Christmas In The Philippines

3. Christmas Lanterns

Filipinos love giving light to this occasion – literally! For us, Christmas lanterns or parol means using bamboo sticks and Japanese paper with outstanding style. This Christmas season, pay a visit to the colorful and vibrant cities in Pampanga and be awed by their gigantic and extravagant lanterns. The parol symbolizes the star that led the three kings of the east – Melchor, Balthazar, and Gaspar – as they paid homage and brought gifts to the child Jesus, the newly born king.

Christmas In The Philippines

4. Christmas Caroling

Pasko na naman, o kay tulin ng araw… You may not catch the lyrics the first time you hear this song. Or you may even scramble the lyrics. But worry not because you will have a chance to memorize this song. How? Well, all you have to do is wait every night outside your house. Christmas in the Philippines will not be complete without kids serenading you every night with different Christmas carols. The next time you are having second thoughts about sparing a few coins for these kids, think about the deeper meaning, they represent the angels singing joyfully during the birth of Baby Jesus.

Christmas In The Philippines

With these few notes, are you excited for the holiday season? Better yet, are you excited to celebrate Christmas in the country? Why bother for an expensive out-of-town trip when you can have the most meaningful and fruitful Christmas right at your doorstep? Remember, the season will not be remembered by how much you have spent, but with how many people you have touched and made happier.

Filipino Christmas Traditions

Who says Filipino Christmas traditions are too old-fashioned? Here are some tips on how you can start practicing these traditions with a smile:

  1. If you are spiritually and mentally ready to attend the Simbang Gabi, make sure to have enough sleep prior to the Holy Mass. As the early bird gets the worm, you would also be energetic to listen intently to the homily of the priest.
  2. Yes, bibingka and puto bumbong are remarkably delicious. And it would taste much better once shared with your loved ones.
  3. Christmas lanterns are not about the extravagance or the size. With a few bamboo sticks, colored papers, and a spark of your creativity, viola! You can create your personalized parol!
  4. Who says you have to visit all the houses in the neighborhood when Christmas caroling could be done right at your home? Why not have your Mom or Dad be your audience during the weekdays, and your Ate and Kuya during the weekends?

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