Butler & Hedrick
When we think of Christmas, we think of Santa, Christmas trees, and caroling. Christmas in the Philippines is slightly different.
Customs and traditions
Christmas in the Philippines is a mixture of western world (USA and UK) traditions along with traditions of their own.
Western traditions that the Philippines adopted include Santa, Christmas trees, Christmas cards, and Christmas songs.
Along with western traditions, the Philippines has traditions of their own. These include the parol, which is a lit lantern attached to a bamboo frame, Christmas Eve mass, and a midnight feast also known as Noche Buena. Most Filipinos stay up all night on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.
Filipino people are very religious. Most are Christians, and 80% of those are Roman Catholics. The percentage of Christians makes Christmas very much important to the Philippines.
Many Filipino Christmas traditions are based in religion. The parol represents the star that guided the Wise Men to baby Jesus. While most Filipinos are up all night on Christmas Eve, they attend mass (church) to hear the last "simbang gabi". Mass is held hourly on Christmas Day so that everyone can attend. These services can include plays showing the birth of Jesus Christ.
Filipino Gift Giving!
Christmas celebrations in the Philippines starts nine days before Christmas Day with a mass called Misa de Gallo.
In many neighborhoods, children go house to house singing carols. In return, they receive money, and are sometimes even fed. Also, grandparents tend to invite their grandchildren on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day after mass for further gift giving.
In the Philippines, there are two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The wet season usually occurs from June to October. The dry season occurs around April to May. Filipino Christmas occurs right in between both seasons.
1. The Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia.
2. Philippines lies in the “Ring of fire” and has over 200 volcanoes of which only a few are active today.
3. The 8th wonder of the world- Northern Luzon’s Rice Terraces are in the Philippines.
4. The Philippine flag is the only flag in the whole world that is displayed differently in times of peace and war. In peace time, the blue side is put on top; in war time, the red.
About the Author
Co-authors Allyson Butler and Cole Hedrick were given an assignment by their instructor, Amy Selner, to create this webpage about Christmas in the Philippines for their Honors U.S. History class, as part of the "Christmas Around the World" project, which was assigned to the entire class. Each set of partners chose a country, and had to produce a product with this webpage.