Philippine Traditions in Celebrating Christmas

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People are not usually aware that December 25th is not the actual birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, most historians believe he was likely born in the spring because of the Bible’s description of shepherds herding animals.
It was in the 4th Century, when the Roman Catholic Church decided to recognize Jesus’ birth as an official holiday. Pope Julius I chose December 25th for the “Feast of Nativity.” Now Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in most countries of the world, even in many whose populations are not majority Christian.

Philippines is one of the predominantly catholic country in Asia. So Filipinos has a lot of known traditions and cultures in uniquely celebrating Christmas holidays.

Traditional Christmas here in the Philippines are:

  1. “Simbang gabi”  or mass of the rooster
    – a mass held before dawn that starts on December 16 up to the nine-day novena.
  2. Parol or star lanterns
    customized star lanterns that are commonly made from bamboo sticks.
  3. the Noche Buena
    – a family feasts that takes place after midnight. It is an open house celebration for Filipino after attending  “simbang gabi”.
  4. Carolers
    – a group of singers that visit houses with musical instruments to serenade. Carolers must have different and unique strategies to stand out in a crowd. Money are given to them after they serenade.
  5. “Panunuluyan”
    – This is a re-enactment of the Holy Couple’s journey to Bethlehem and portrays the lack of hospitality they encountered along the way.

Philippines is a truly unique and full cultured country. I am glad to be born here.🙂

Happy Holidays!

10 responses »

  1. Nice post and nice blog about Philippines

    My name is Alexandra and I’m managing a meta-blog about travel and activities in South East Asia: http://www.weekend.com.sg/

    I read some of your articles carefully and your content can be really useful for my readers who wants to know more about Philippines !
    In consequence, I decided to select your blog !

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    Send me an email at greenty.com@gmail.com and I will try to answer within 24h.

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  2. Ang ganda ng site mo. Kahit 2009 ay makakatulong pa din sa mga tao para maintindihan ang ating tradisyon sa Pilipinas.

    Your site is very helpful, even if the entry was dated 2009. This will help foreigners understand our culture.

    Post Script, I borrowed one of your photos for my blog, but I have a link so my site visitors will also visit your blog.

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