While Christmas is a holiday celebrated worldwide, here in the Philippines, no one celebrates it better than the Filipinos. We are known in celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world. With these, we Filipinos have uniquely embraced our so-called Christmas traditions.
Also known as the Philippine lantern. The most common Christmas decoration here in the Philippines. Putting up parols in homes, schools, establishments, offices, and schools is a common Filipino tradition.
2. Simbang Gabi
Because most of the Filipinos are Christians with about 80% of people being Catholics, Christmas is the most important holiday in the Philippines. Simbang Gabi or ‘Misa de Gallo’ is a nine-day early masses held before Christmas. Completing these masses is in almost every Filipinos’ bucket list.
3. Noche Buena
Christmas Eve is very important in the Philippines. After the Christmas Eve mass (last Simbang Gabi) this is followed by a midnight feast, called Noche Buena. It is a big dinner to celebrate with family, friends and neighbors dropping in to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
It is one of the common tradition of every Filipinos where they visit their relatives during Christmas day. Kids are being rewarded and presented with gifts/ ‘pamasko’ like toys or money by their relatives or godparents. These gifts are popularly called as “Aguinaldo”.
Aside from Aguinaldo, Filipinos have their own adaptation of Secret Santa called ‘Monito-Monita’ It is a form of exchanging gifts where every participant has his or her anonymous gifts. This is usually done during Christmas parties in schools, houses, or offices.
Christmas is indeed different in the Philippines. Christmas might be a cold season but for every Filipino, it is the season to give a warmth of happiness, to give love and to give thanks.