We Filipinos have this unique celebration of Christmas. As early as September, we already feel the spirit of Christmas in many ways all over the country. We start decorating our Christmas trees, light our Christmas lights, hang socks by the fireplace.
You thought you knew everything about Christmas in the Philippines? Wait, there’s still a lot more interesting facts about Christmas celebration in the Philippines. Here are a few of them:
- One of the Christmas songs, “Payapang Daigdig”, was written in relation to the Second World War. Written by Felipe Padilla de Leon, was Filipino adaptation of the Christmas song, Silent Night. He wrote this song after a realization of the worst consequences brought about by the war.
- The tradition of hanging parols or lanterns up our ceilings or walls came from Mexico, designed after the Mexican Piñata. As early as September, Filipinos would buy ready-made or ready-made lanterns and hang them. The province of Pampanga is famous for making state of the art parols, this the name “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.”
- Christmas carols are used to be sung in Spanish. Very often we hear kids singing Christmas carols in English and Tagalog. But did you know that about a century ago, caroling used to be in Spanish language. The tradition of caroling during the holidays is called “villacinco” in Spanish. This was thought to be a result of the 333 years of Spanish colonization of the Philippines.
- Misa de Gallo in the Philippines was once prohibited for about 9 years. Since its conception, Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi has been part of our Christmas tradition. However, in 1680-1689, a decree was implemented banning the celebration of the nine-day mass, for the reason that most of the priests did the mass in vernacular, and only used Spanish during processional and recessional. This somehow offende the Spaniards, especially Archbishop Felipe Pardo of Manila. After his death in 1689, the Misa de Gallo was done once more till today.
Any other Christmas in Pinas interesting facts that you know of? Leave a comment below.