Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas in the Philippines

Moving on from Africa we focused our studies on the chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines. Christmas is a big deal here! As we saw in South America a large percentage of this nation has Catholic influences. (They also have a Misa de Gallo, known as Simbag Gabi in Tagalog). Celebration of the holiday season begins back in September. Yes, in September, when people begin decorating and start a daily countdown from 100 days. This is even broadcast on the nightly news.

Many homes decorate on the inside as much as they can afford to with Christmas trees and a Nativity. The most important decoration in a Filipino Christmas is the parol. This star lantern can be hand-crafted by the family, but is also available commercially.

Gift-giving is an central part of Christmas in the Philippines with gifts often exchanged amongst family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. The biggest celebration takes place at midnight on December 24th. During this time, Buena Noche, gifts are shared and a large meal enjoyed.

Caroling takes place throughout the region by those seeking to gain money or food. Performances can also be planned as a way to raise support for charitable work. We enjoyed listening to this Christmas song done by a school in the Philippines.

We'll be back soon to share a little more of what we learned about this region of the world.

Christmas in the Philippines

Special thanks to Naomi for sharing all she is learning in the Philippines. Praying for you and your family.

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