The Philippines is known for celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world. Filipinos start to feel the Yuletide season once the “ber” months show in the calendar, and it officially ends on the Feast of Epiphany (Three Kings).
A number of reasons why you should at least spend Christmas in the Philippines include customs and traditions that are uniquely Filipino. The “Simbang Gabi” also called the Misa de Gallo or the Rooster’s Mass refers to the early morning masses starting on the 16th of December and ending on the 25th of December.
Children also start going from one house to another doing the “Caroling” tradition by singing classic Filipino and foreign Christmas Carols. Since Christmas is also the season of giving, there is the “Monito/Monita” exchange gifts, and for those with godchildren, the giving of aguinaldos and pamasko. The “Parol” also known as Philippine lantern is a unique Filipino decoration traditionally made from colorful papers, bamboo sticks, and shaped-like five-pointed star. After the midnight mass on Christmas, The “Noche Buena” is a grand family dinner and a hearty feast full of delicious Filipino food such as lechon, pancit, ham, queso de bola, and a lot more. Another popular decoration in the Philippines is the “Belen” or the Nativity Scene which is displayed in churches, schools, homes, offices, and establishments. The “Three Kings” is a religious event in the Philippines celebrated with a mass, on the first Sunday after the New Year. It also marks the end of the Christmas season.