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Saturday, 14 November 2009
08:13:52 AM (GMT)
for me,it's on philippines! The Philippines is known as the "Land of Fiestas," and at Christmas time, this is especially true. Filipinos are proud to proclaim their Christmas celebration to be the longest and merriest in the world. It begins formally on December 16 with attendance at the first of nine pre-dawn or early morning masses and continues on nonstop until the first Sunday of January, Feast of the Three Kings, the official end of the season. The Philippines is the only Asian country where Christians predominate. Majority of its people are Roman Catholic. Christmas, therefore, is an extremely important and revered holiday for most Filipinos. It is a time for family, for sharing, for giving, and a time for food, fun, and friendship. To most Filipinos, Christmas is the most anticipated fiesta of the year and is celebrated accordingly. The splendid climate of this tropical island nation, the abundance and beauty of its flowers, and lovely landscape, its multitude of culinary delights, and above all its warm-hearted people with their true devotion to family and faith all contribute to a holiday celebrated in the true Philippines fiesta tradition CHRiSTMAS DECORATIONS: A collection of Filipino parol, or star lanterns, is an essential Christmas decoration in the Philippines.These lanterns display dazzling colorful lights especially at night.We also have christmas trees and christmas lights.We usually place the christmas lights in : around a tree,around the house,around the christmas tree There is no winter or snow in the Philippines at Christmas time. There are very few pine trees. There is no traditional Yule log or fetching of the pine sprigs from the woods. And Santa Claus, though visible in displays and believed by most Filipino children to exist, seldom comes bearing gifts. Even without snow or pine trees, there's no doubt it's Christmasin the Philippines. Filipino Christmas decorations are abundant and beautiful. The bamboo parol (pah-role), or star lantern, is the symbol of Christmas in the Philippines, representing the guiding light, the star of Bethlehem. It emits a warmth unparalleled among holiday adornments and is unique to the Philippines. Filipinos enjoy decorating their homes not only with star lanterns but also with all sorts of Christmas decors. Brightly colored buntings or streamers are hung inside and out. Often, Christmas cards that illustrate scenes in the Philippines are pinned on red and green ribbons. The cards are then hung in the sala, or living room, for all to enjoy. Candles and wreaths are also common adornments. Recently, Filipinos have begun choosing wreaths and other decorations made with local native materials rather than those patterned after western designs. And many houses, particularly those in the urban areas are strung with tiny multi-colored lights both inside and out. Most Filipinos think that decorating their homes for the Christmas holidays is a must. TRADiTiON: It is a Filipino tradition for children to visit their godparents and elderly relatives on Christmas day. This child is showing respect for his godmother by taking her hand to his forehead. In return, he receives a blessing or a gift. Christmas Eve in the Philippines is one of the traditions most families celebrate. It is a night without sleep and a continuous celebration moving right into Christmas Day. As December 24th dawns, the last Mass of Simbang Gabi is attended; then preparation begins for Noche Buena, which is a family feast that takes place after midnight. The Noche Buena is very much like an open house celebration. Family, friends, relatives, and neighbors drop by to wish every family member "Maligayang Pasko" (Merry Christmas). Food is in abundance, often served in buffet style. Guests or visitors partake of the food prepared by the host family (even though they are already full or bloated!). Among the typical foods prepared in the Philippines during Christmas are: lechon (roasted pig), pancit, barbecue, rice, adobo, cakes (Western and native rice cakes), lumpia, etc. There is also an abundance of San Miguel beer, wine, and liquor, which makes the celebration of Christmas indeed intoxicating! The streets are well lit and are full of activities. The children run in and out of the house to play, to eat, and to play again. The Christmas Eve gathering provides an opportunity for a reunion of immediate and distant family members. Some families may choose to exchange gifts at this time; others wait until Christmas day. In general, the center of a family's Christmas gathering is always the lola, the endearing term used for a family matriarch or grandmother, who is deeply respected, highly revered, and always present. Filipinos remember how their lola had their children form a line and step up to receive a small gift of some coins. The older the child, the more coins he or she receives. Some families have a talent show during Christmas Eve celebration. Children are asked to perform. One might sing a Christmas song, others might play a musical instrument, or others may recite a poem or do a dance. The celebration continues until about 6 o'clock in the morning. Those who cannot attend Mass the night before will go to the morning Mass on Christmas day. Christmas day is a popular day for children to visit their uncles, aunts, godmothers, and godfathers. At each home they are presented with a gift, usually candy, money, or a small toy. Food and drinks are also offered at each stop. It is a day of family closeness, and everyone wishes good cheer and glad tidings FOODS: lechon (roasted pig), pancit, barbecue, rice, adobo, cakes (Western and native rice cakes), lumpia etc.We also have a rice cake called "puto bumbong",violet in color,with grated coconut,butter and sugar on it's top,and a "bibingka" STARTING after midnight tonight (15 December), church bells will be ringing very early in the morning until Christmas Day. Today marks the beginning of the Christmas novena, or Simbang Gabi, in Tagalog. For Filipino Catholics the nine-day celebration before Christmas is a tradition with deep roots in the country's religious culture. Literally, simbang gabi means ``night worship.'' The name comes from the Catholic custom of gathering for the celebration of the Eucharist in the pre-dawn hours on each of the nine days before Christmas. Hence, this celebration is also known by its popular Spanish name as the misa de gallo, or ``mass of the rooster.'' Catholic churches throughout the country will be ringing their bells around 3:00 or 3:30 in the morning long before the roosters crow. The origins of this Filipino custom are obscure. Perhaps the tradition came from Mexico, like many Catholic practices and devotions found in the Philippines. One old Spanish name for this pre-Christmas series of daily masses is Misa de Aguinaldo. The phrase offers some insight into the meaning of simbang gabi. In Spanish aguinaldo means a gift. So Misa de Aguinaldo suggests a gift for the Child Jesus. Whatever its title, this pre-Christmas observance is surely a sacrifice of love for it requires dedication and discipline to get out of bed so early while yet fulfilling all one's daily duties. Over the generations, local Filipino faith communities have creatively adapted simbang gabi. While only candles and lanterns are used in rural areas, as in centuries past, most churches today have electric lights, lanterns, and sound systems in keeping with the economic means of the congregation. So amplifiers now blare the Christmas music and the readings from the World of God and the Eucharistic prayers. Over adaptations are deeper. For example, many urban parishes now celebrate simbang gabi around 8 or 9 in the evening, not just in the morning, in order to accommodate the needs of people on a great variety of work schedules. The custom is also kept among Filipinos living elsewhere in the world. No matter how or when this celebration takes place, the annual simbang gabi provides a strong indication of the depth of Catholicism in the hearts of Filipinos. For those not taking in this celebration, simbang gabi may appear to be too much noise too early in the morning. But a modicum of reflection easily allows everyone to gain insight into the deeper meaning of this celebration. Simbang gabi expresses the faith of Filipinos who hold the same core belief as all Christians, namely, that God is present in human history, even in the simple joys and anxieties of life's humblest activities. Filipino Catholics who sincerely live their belief in the incarnation merit the respect and admiration of the whole nation. So, let the bells of the Misa de Gallo break the pre-dawn silence of the whole land. The bells offer a message of hope in God and of hope for peace on earth. SOURCE: me and http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/Cynthia/festivals/philippine_christmas.htm CLiCK THAT LiNK TO SEE PiCTURES DURiNG CHRiSTMAS IN PHiLiPPiNES (such as decorations,foods,etc.)
Last edited: 14 November 2009

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