News Bits

Pinoy Christmas Traditions That

Will Never Die (At

Least We Think So)

by Anne Marielle Eugenio, December 24, 2018 6:11pm

Art by Dani Elevazo

News Bits

Pinoy Christmas Traditions That Will Never Die (At Least We Think So)

by Anne Marielle Eugenio, December 24, 2018 6:11pm
 

When the "ber" months hit, expect the blaring Jose Mari Chan Christmas playlist and other classic Christmas songs playing on sidewalks, malls, radio, and television. That's thing about Filipino Christmas: We celebrate the occasion earlier than others.

But apart from celebrating Yuletide three months ahead, Filipinos are rich in Christmas  traditions that have been passed on. We are almost certain that these practices will never ever die.

Putting up Christmas Lanterns

The holiday seasons won't be as vibrant without the iconic pinoy style Christmas lanterns or parols hanging by lamp posts and houses. Parols light up the streets and spread the Christmas spirit even further.

Simbang Gabi

Completing the nine nights of Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo is usually the annual "ultimate goal" for every Catholic. Getting ready for church that early when the weather's cold and bed's comfortable is a real challenge, and that’s why it feels so fulfilling to have completed it. Simbang Gabi starts on December 16 before the crack of dawn (usually 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning) or the evening of December 15.

Bibingka and Puto Bumbong

After attending simbang gabi, you can opt to treat yourself with the Pinoy delicacies bibingka (rice cake baked in clay pots) or puto bumbong (rice cake steamed in bamboo). They are known to be sold near Catholic churches when Christmas season hits. And for some reason, puto bumbong and bibingka tastes better every after simbang gabi.

 
 
 
 
 
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Christmas Carolings

When December starts, expect groups, usually children, that would sing "Joy to the World", "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", or even "Star ng Pasko" at your doorstep. Some do it out of barkada tradition, some do it for fundraising. Either way, let generosity reign!

Monito-Monita

This is the Pinoy version of Secret Santa or Kris Kringle. Just like its Western Version, its mechanics involve different themes or "somethings" per week and often, the themes can range from weird to embarassing. The gift giver's identity is not revealed until the group’s Christmas party.

Noche Buena

Noche Buena is celebrated during Christmas Eve with a feast shared with family and friends. Expect the staples like holiday ham and keso de bola on the table!

 
 
 
 
 
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These traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. Some have evolved through time but still maintained its roots. For sure, these practices will take some time before they can be forgotten, if they will be at all.

 

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