filipino christmas tradition

A Dose of Filipino Culture

As a show of goodwill during the Christmas season, Filipinos may hang a parol outside of their home or at a window for others to see.

The parol is an ornamental lantern that represents the Star of Bethlehem, also known as the Christmas Star, that guided the Three Kings to the city of Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.

What makes this tradition so beautiful is that the parol can come in different materials, colors, shapes and sizes!

I got these images from google but I honestly think they are much more awe inspiring up close and personal.

You can either buy a parol or buy the basic materials and make your own at home (instructions can be found online).

For me, seeing a parol during the holidays brings me joy and comfort (plus a lot of reflecting of the past year). I do enjoy looking at them and give my respect to people who take the time and effort to create these wonderful lanterns especially the larger ones.

Maligayang pasko to everyone who celebrates Christmas; and a happy holiday, winter, and/or December to everyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas! 

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Celebrating #simbanggabi in the Philippines with @willjr42

For more photos of this holiday tradition, explore #simbanggabi. To see more of Wilfredo’s photos, follow @willjr42 on Instagram.

For nine days leading up to Christmas Eve, many Filipino churchgoers head to Mass at dawn for Simbang Gabi. Despite the tradition’s pre-sunrise start time, “lots of people — girls and boys, young or old, rich or poor — flock to the church to celebrate,” student Wilfredo Lenterna Jr. (@willjr42) says.

Lanterns, lights and ornaments decorate the church interior, while outdoor vendors sell native delicacies after Mass. An active member of his church’s youth organization, Wilfredo and his friends sell food to fund programs for those less fortunate. “Celebrating Christmas is sure fun in the Philippines, especially when you put faith, family and fun together,” Wilfredo says.