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12 FACTS FOR CHRISTMAS: PART 3

Apat na tulog na lang, pasko na! Since the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, Christmas has always been a very important part of our culture and lives. So important that we have the longest-running celebrations of the season compared to any other country. Holiday preparations, including jingles and carols, can be heard once the “-ber” months start. (Yes, Christmas in September!) And the festivities don’t end once the clock strikes midnight on the 26th. To some, Christmas only ends during the celebration of the Three Kings that happens during the first Sunday of January.

Because Christmas was brought to us through Christianity, plenty of our traditions come from, or resemble, western traditions. Here are some facts about the things that make a Filipino Christmas.

FACT # 9: The Parol is a unique Filipino Christmas Decor

Parol is a type of lantern that is used as decoration only during the Christmas season in the Philippines. It’s star-shaped, usually with lights, that symbolizes the star of Bethlehem, leading the shepherds and the three wise men to Jesus. 

FACT # 10: Simbang Gabi is a novena

The practice of simbang gabi started from an adjustment of the church to accommodate farmers who would like to hear mass before working on the fields. Today, the practice has become a 9-day novena, from December 16 to December 24, in honor of  the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s a common belief that those who are able to finish all 9 days will have their wish granted.

FACT # 11: The Feast of the Three Kings is also known as “Pasko ng matatanda”

Also called Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings marks the end of the Filipino Christmas season. It’s also a day spent honoring the elderly and senior citizens.

FACT # 12: Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas In Our Hearts” is the season’s unofficial theme song

Released in 1990, this song can be considered as the most popular Christmas song in OPM. The album, with the same name, has sold over 800 thousand copies and is considered to be the first OPM album to reach Diamond status. It’s definitely not Christmas without hearing this song anywhere during the season.

ICYMI: 12 FACTS FOR CHRISTMAS: PART 1

ICYMI: 12 FACTS FOR CHRISTMAS: PART 2

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