The long Christmas season

Discussion in 'Pinoy Culture' started by Alexandoy, Dec 3, 2019.

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  1. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    The Philippines has the longest Christmas season. It officially starts on December 16 but as early as September Christmas songs pervade the air especially in the malls and other public places. Christmas decorations start coming up by October and even during the All Saints Day on November 1, it is already the yuletide atmosphere.
     
  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    Decorations come up much earlier this year than the previous years as if the Filipinos are very excited for Christmas. But I think it is more of the commercialism of business establishments that dictates the atmosphere. But anyway, I think the brisk sales of gift items will prove that people are eager for the coming Christmas even still months from now.
     
  3. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    The Simbang Gabi is the dawn mass in the church at 4 am or 4:30 am depending on the church. This is a unique activity related to the Christmas season. The olden name for this activity is Misa de Gallo to mean church mass as the rooster crows at dawn. It is a regular mass every dawn starting from December 16 and culminates in the midnight mass of December 24, Christmas eve.
     
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    Although borrowed from big brother America, the Christmas tree is now the most popular symbol of Christmas here. But the Belen which is the nativity scene is still being used as decoration by some homes. The Christmas lights that are blinking in different fashions are also very popular now.
     
  5. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    The most common in traditional Christmas decoration is the lantern that is made of bamboo sticks creating a starlike object. It is covered by thin paper or glossy cellophane. Some have a bulb inside to provide the light that the lantern would be like a shining star.
     
  6. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    It is fun to experience the Simbang Gabi where you wake up very early to hear mass in the church. But the most fun of all are the snack foods that you can buy. There are vendors of Bibingkang Galapong which is like a rice cake, Puto Bumbong which is a sticky snack and some others food stuff that you can only buy during the Christmas season.
     
  7. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    A week before Christmas, schools are out to give students the freedom to experience Christmas season activities. One unique activity is the caroling that is participated by children and adults alike. They sing carols in front of the house that the owner would give them money or treats. But not all homeowners agree with that idea.
     
  8. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    May I add that public schools here have the lantern parades of the students in the street. They carry the lantern that they made. Normally there is a prize for the best lantern to be awarded by the principal of the sponsor of the parade that is usually the town mayor or another government official.
     
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    Children have so many activities in school that’s why it is usually very lax for them in the last week of school before Christmas. There is the Christmas presentation in the classroom or in the school auditorium. There’s also the Christmas party for the class that the teacher would usually sponsor and the students would bring their share in the food. Of course, there is the exchanging of gifts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  10. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    The Simbang Gabi culminates on December 24 before midnight .The faithful attend that last midnight mass before indulging in the Noche Buena which is the Christmas eve midnight meal that is shared by the family and friends. Usually there would be sweet Chinese ham and queso de bola, that is the edam cheese ball that is a favorite of the old folks.
     
  11. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    The caroling becomes more exciting when the houses in the street have Christmas lights on their fence. The lights add to the spirit of Christmas that children are more inspired to sing Christmas carols. It is a nightly activity that is one memorable period for the carolers. In fact, I had experienced that when I was a boy, from grade school until my college days.
     
  12. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    When I was a girl, I remember my father would wake us up very early to go to church for the Simbang Gabi. I was not attentive in the church since I was sleepy. But in going out, I was already ecstatic with the prospect of buying bibingka and puto bumbong, those native snacks that we only see during the Christmas season.
     
  13. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    If you will notice in the public places like malls, buildings and parks, the Christmas songs are being played. Even in the public transport like buses, you will hear the carols played. That is one tradition that makes the atmosphere festive and maybe a bit of psychology for the people to feel positive.
     
  14. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    Don’t forget that gift is one important part of the Filipino Christmas. As much as you can afford, there should be a gift for everyone, not only for the family, relatives and friends. There’s also the gift for the garbage collector and the vendors that you meet in the market. That is the culture here which is generosity in practice.
     
  15. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    The 9 days of Simbang Gabi and the 9 nights of caroling officially ends before the midnight mass of Christmas eve. And after the midnight meal called Noche Buena the family can take the need rest for the next day is Christmas day when families and clans have their reunion.
     
  16. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    Christmas day is very festive. Aside from the family reunion and parties with friends, the kids go to their god parents for the expected gift. Sometimes the kids are accompanied by their parents and they have lunch with the god parents and sometimes dinner too. Truly Christmas day is not just festive in mood but also in food and gifts.
     
  17. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    Christmas day is really for family or clan reunions. That is the opportunity they have to give the gifts for their relatives. However, the streets are full of people dressed in their Christmas clothes. They knock on the gates to ask for Christmas gifts. That is plain begging and it is getting to be a tradition now in the metro.
     
  18. Corzhens

    Corzhens Member

    Christmas day is not complete without the knocking of people for soliciting Christmas gifts. There are the barangay staff in their tricycle, the roving cops and the security guards of the village where you live. Christmas is really becoming a day for asking and not anymore a day for giving.
     
  19. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    Just for amusement, December 28 is the Niños Inocentes which means Holy Innocents Day. It is the day for pranks and jokes. As the saying goes, do not lend money on December 28 for the borrower has the right to call it a prank and not repay the money anymore.