In the lead up to Christmas in 4 weeks’ time, we share with you some unique Christmas celebrations that some countries have.
In this first part of our Christmas Celebrations around the World series, we look at how the third-largest Catholic nation in the world Philippines celebrates Christmas.
The Philippines is known for celebrating the Christmas for a long four months, starting from September until early January. When the “ber” month starts, the people of Christmas are geared up for Christmas already. The malls will be decked out in their Christmas best and Christmas songs will be ringing throughout the malls.
Beside the Western influenced Christmas decorations and traditions like Christmas trees and Christmas cards, Philippines have their own local tradition called the “parol” which is a bamboo pole or frame with a lighted star lantern on it. This represents the star that guided the Wise Men in the Bible. This is the most popular Christmas decoration in the Philippines.
The people of Philippines celebrate Christmas by attending the Christmas Eve mass or more commonly known as ‘simbang gabi’ on Christmas Eve evening. This is followed by Noche Buena a huge midnight feast. And what is a feast without a wide array of foods. The feast will usually include Filipino staples like lechon (roasted pork), ham, rice cakes, various kinds of sweets and sweet drinks.
If you are a Filipino seafarer, share with us how do you celebrate Christmas if you happen to be working on board the ship on this occasion. Are there any special Christmas traditions that you adopt on board the ship?