Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas in the Philippines


A lot has been said about Christmas here in the Philippines. Some people start decorating their Christmas lanterns as early as September, and some during the month of November. Today is the 1st of December and if you will have the opportunity to take a trip around most streets of Manila and other nearby municipalities, you will see that everyone’s almost ready to celebrate the biggest Philippine Holiday every year. Ever since childhood, Christmas has been one of the biggest celebrations every year, of course next to my birthday… LOL! Here in my place, you’ll start to hear Christmas songs starting the 1st of September as well, so it’s like 4 months of Christmas celebration, the longest ever.

The bamboo parol (as we call it) or star lantern, which almost every household bears, is the symbol of Christmas in the Philippines, representing the guiding light, the star of Bethlehem during the birth of Christ.





Being in a place where majority of the people are Christians, Christmas is an extremely important holiday for most of us. It is a time for family, sharing, gift giving, delicious food and time to share for everyone. It has been a Filipino tradition for children to visit their godparents and elderly relatives during Christmas day. Officially, Christmas starts every 16th of December during the first “Simbang Gabi” (pre-dawn or early morning masses) and continues until the 1st Sunday of January which is the Feast of the Three Kings, which marks the end of the festive season. Simbang Gabi is a nine-day Christmas Novena which roots from the rich religious culture of our country. It is like a night worship also known by its popular Spanish name "Misa De Gallo" or "Mass of the Rooster". Catholic churches thorughout the country will be ringing their bells around 3:00 or 3:30 in the morning long before the rooster's crow.

The most famous among the abundant delicacy that is associated with Christmas are as follows:

Puto Bumbong



Bibinka


Lechon (Pan-Fried Roast Pork)





Kare-Kare (Oxtail Stew in Peanut Butter Sauce)
 

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Soup)

Salabat (Ginger Tea)
Tsokolate (Hot Chocolate)

And by the way, "Maligayang Pasko" is how we say "Merry Christmas" in the native tongue!

Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat! (Merry Christmas to all!) =D

3 comments:

  1. Christmas in the Philippines is no doubt not only the longest but even the warmest! Advance Merry Christmas and God bless! :)

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