The Philippines celebrates the longest Christmas in the world. No country can indeed celebrate Christmas like the Philippines because Filipinos start their celebration from September to January 9. The country people host Christmas parties, festival related plays, and start home decorations throughout these months. Read on to discover the Philippine Christmas tradition.
Christmas in the Philippines
On January 6, people celebrate the feast of the Epiphany or also called the feast of Three Kings. They also have the feasts of the black Nazarene on January 9 or celebrate the feast of the Santo Nino on the third Sunday. The Country’s official observance by the Catholic Church in the Philippines begins from the Simbang Gabi on December 16 till the first Sunday of January.
History of Filipino Christmas
The country is well-known as the Catholic Christian nation that is why they give more importance to Christmas. Historically, the Philippines is a Spanish colony. Spaniards played a major role in influencing people to follow their language, religion, and culture.
What Is It Called the Third or Fourth Week of January in the Philippines?
- A. Epiphany Day
- B. Brothers Day
- C. Neighbors Day
- D. All of the Above
Many missionaries were brought to the country from Portugal and Spain who believed in Christian ideologies and values. At present all of these have become part of Filipino traditions.
Philippine Christmas Tradition
Every year, for Filipinos, Christmas is a significant festival, and they start counting from September. The months of September to December are called “Ber Months.” It is recognized as the world’s earliest and the longest period of the Christmas season.
They have nine-night masses till Christmas Eve that is known as Simbang Gabi or the Misa de Gallo. They follow these nine masses by believing that their wish will be granted in the upcoming year.
Christmas celebration in the Philippines is special because during the evening they visit the church and hear the last ‘simbang gabi’ and at midnight they have the biggest feast called Noche Buena.
Noche Buena becomes the holiday staple in the Yuletide season. The Noche Buena is a huge open house where people visit with family, and friends to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Filipinos may have a variety of dishes on their dinner tables that include Lechon (roasted pig), ham, Malabon, lumpiang ubod, queso de bola, rice cakes (bibingka and puto bumbong are traditional Christmas foods), fruit salad and different sweets, steamed rice, and many types of drinks.
Filipinos love decorating homes with Christmas lanterns that are referred to as “parols” in Filipino lingo.
Aguinaldo is another custom that Filipinos have. It is a common tradition to visit their relatives’ home wearing their latest or finest clothes, during Xmas day.