When does it really start? In school, Christmas is felt towards the middle part of December when exams/quizzes are ending and students plan about parties. When I was working at a shopping mall, the first hints of Christmas spring up in September!
The celebration of Christmas in the Philippines is quite different from other countries, especially in non-Christian areas. Due to our religion, we celebrate the holiday in a super grand way!
Christmas is the longest of the Philippine festivities stretching for over a month, or it really depends on when a Filipino feels to start or end it. This makes the Filipino Christmas celebration perhaps the longest Christmas season in the world.
So, what makes the Filipino Christmas unique? Filipinos have a lot of Christmas tradition which makes us different from the others, here are some of them.
The Pinoy Parols.Main decoration symbol in other countries is a Christmas tree. In the Philippines, you see Christmas Parols in almost every corner of the street. Parol is a traditional Filipino Christmas decoration, a five point star-shaped Christmas lantern that reminds Filipinos of the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men on their way in search of Baby Jesus.
Beautiful Christmas songs only Pinoys can sing. Lea Salonga, Gary V, Martin Nievera, Sarah Geronimo, Jed Madela, are just a few of Filipino singers who can truly satisfy Filipinos on Christmas songs.
Bibingka and PutoBumbong – they are true Pinoy delicacies specially prepared during the season. They would often be served on banana leaves topped with butter or margarine and grated coconut meat.
Simbang Gabi. Starting December 16, a large portion of the population would flock to attend Mass at their local Catholic congregation. This Christmas tradition is called Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi. It translates to Masses at Cock’s Crow which is held usually early in
Kids Street Caroling. Although sometimes annoying because they would repeatedly go back to your house, there is no other place in the world one can experience this Christmas caroling.
So, there, Christmas in the Philippines is just an amazing experience. It is that magical time of year when everything just falls into place.I have seen a glimpse of Christmas in Hong Kong and it is no where near to what I know of Christmas celebration the Pinoy way.
For me, there is no place else to celebrate Christmas but home.