Christmas in the Philippines celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ who, according to Biblical tradition, was sent by God to save people from sin and death. The holiday is held every 25 December.
The Christmas season in the Philippines is summed up in three words: faith, family and food – with the three intertwined in almost every event. Masses are held in churches leading up to Christmas Day, with many feasts held alongside them. The length of the season varies: Christmas can last from a few weeks to a few months. Christmas carols are played in the shopping centres and malls from as early as September until well into January.
A clear sign the Christmas season has truly begun is the hanging of star-shaped lanterns called parol in every public space and household. The parol, representing the Star of Bethlehem, is unique to the Philippines and is as quintessential to the season as Christmas trees and fake snow are to the Western cultures.
In the week leading up to Christmas, a series of masses called Misa de Gallo are held late every night. On Christmas Eve, there is (you guessed it) another mass held at midnight helpfully named, “Midnight Mass”, followed by a traditional family feast called Noche Buena running well into the early hours of Christmas morning.
A Christmas lunch is prepared for extended family where they open presents, eat, play games, sing karaoke, and eat some more. Older members of the family are revered and traditions, such as Pagmamano (taking the older family member’s hand and gently placing it on one’s forehead as a sign of respect), are practiced. The day ends only when people are too full to eat or are obliged to go to another household to eat some more.
Dr. José Rizal, the Philippines’ National Hero, is celebrated on his namesake day every 30 December.
The first president of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo, commemorated the first Rizal Day in 1898. Born on 19 June 1861, José Rizal is considered as the one of the greatest heroes in Philippine history, and is credited as starting the Philippine revolution against the Spanish colonisers.
Rizal, a man of many talents, was notably a ophthalmologist and a novelist. His two novels, “Noli me Tangere” (“Touch me not”) and the sequel “El filibusterismo” (“The Filibustering” or “Reign of Greed”) exposed the injustices brought on by the Spanish colonisers in the Philippines. Many scholars and historians would agree that it was the ideas in these two books that influenced the already discontented Filipinos to act against the Spanish.
Subsequently, he was arrested for treason and for being associated with the revolutionary forces (although he did not take part in any type of warfare). He was convicted on the grounds of rebellion, sedition and conspiring against the government, and was sentenced to execution by a firing squad on 30 December 30 1896. His death was the last straw for the Filipinos and thus began the end for the Spanish colonisers.
Official events centre around the main Rizal shrine, in Rizal Park in Manila. Flags are at half-mast and the President of the Philippines lays a wreath at Rizal’s shrine, as a symbol of the nation’s gratitude and reverence. As it is a public holiday, most people take the day off from work and spend time with family and friends.
The Philippines celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January. Somewhat unusually, New Year’s Eve is also an official holiday here.
Fireworks, good food and good company, New Year’s resolutions, and greeting cards are all a part of the celebration in the Philippines. Attending midnight mass on 31 December is a practice of devout Roman Catholics. Firecrackers and loud noises are traditionaloy thought by some to scare off evil spirits, and leaving doors and windows open is supposed to let the good luck come in.
Parents may tell their children to jump as high as they can at midnight to help them grow taller. Others don polka dot clothes to make the new year more prosperous. And some put 12 fruits on display to symbolise the 12 disciples.
The New Year is a celebration of the end and beginning of a year based on the lunar calendar. The holiday celebrates the events of the past year, while ushering in good fortune for the upcoming year. The lunar New Year celebrations in the Philippines are approached with the same exciting outlook as they are in Mainland China.
Join us on the inauguration, blessing, and groundbreaking of Multiple Infrastructure Projects in San Jose Batangas.
Programs and Activities
March 08, 2021
6:00 AM | Holy Mass (Archdiocesan Shrine & Parish of St Joseph the Patriarch)
7:30 AM | Blessing of Improvement of Putol Bridge
8:00 AM | Inauguration & Blessing of San Jose New Public Market & New Parking Building
9:30 AM | Inauguration & Blessing of Santo Cristo Don Luis Bridge
10:30 AM | Groundbreaking of San Jose Cultural and Sports Center
11:30 AM | Inauguration & Blessing of San Jose Legislative Building
Eidul Adha is a Muslim celebration that honours the willingness of Ibrahim to obey Allah and also commemorates the end of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). In 2019, Eidul Adha falls on Monday 12 August. President Duterte has signed Proclamation No. 789 to confirm the holiday throughout the country.
According to Islamic traditions, Allah tested the prophet Ibrahim’s obedience by commanding him to sacrificially slaughter his first, and then only, son Ishmael. Both Ibrahim and Ishmael’s willingness to obey Allah’s commands was rewarded by Allah sparing Ishmael’s life, but also led to the birth of a second son, Is-haaq.
In the Islamic calendar, Eidul Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Zhul Hijja. As the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the date to celebrate Eidul Adha constantly changes. It is the duty of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to inform the Office of the President on which date in the Gregorian calendar it should fall.
Muslim Filipinos attend a mosque to pray special prayers for the occasion and to listen to a sermon. It is important to wear new clothes or the best ones available. Depending on the region, Muslim families, who can afford to, either buy a live animal to sacrifice (such as a goat, cow or sheep), or whole or large portions of meat to share around at the feast. It is important that this meat is shared with the poorer members of the community.
Independence Day in the Philippines is held every 12 June and commemorates the Philippines’ declaration of independence from Spanish colonial rule.
The original Independence Day was held in 1898 in present day Kawit, Cavite where General Emilio Aguinaldo read out the The Act of the Declaration of Independence. Whilst this was an important milestone for Filipinos, the Spanish government did not recognise their independence.
They then went on to give the Philippines to the United States after the Spanish-American war as part of the peace treaty. After a war and the Philippines’ own treaty with the United States, independence was granted to the Philippines on 4 July 1946, coinciding with the American Independence Day.
4 July was celebrated as Independence Day until 1964. After mounting pressure from the community, the government declared that 12 June would be The Philippines’ Independence Day and a national holiday. 4 July in the Philippines would then become the Philippines’ Republic Day.
A parade in Manila marks the official celebrations, attended by the President and government officials. The parade showcases the Philippines’ armed forces as well as some local organisations and the different ethnic groups of the Philippines. Firework displays are also held, particularly in Manila.
Eidul Fitr is an important celebration for Filipino Muslims, marking the end of the month-long fast during Ramadan. In 2020, Eidul Fitr falls on Monday 25 May. President Duterte has signed Proclamation No. 944 to confirm the holiday throughout the country.
Originated by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Eidul Fitr is a celebration of thanksgiving to Allah. Eidul Fitr has been proclaimed a national holiday in the Philippines since 2002. This proclamation was made to foster peace and goodwill between major religions in the Philippines.
Eidul Fitr is celebrated using the Islamic calendar “Hijra” and is also dependant on the lunar calendar. The combination of these means that the date to celebrate Eidul Fitr constantly changes. It is the duty of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to inform the Office of the President on which date in the Gregorian calendar it should fall.
For Muslim Filipinos, Eidul Fitr marks the end of fasting during Ramadan. On this day, it is forbidden to fast as it is a day of celebration. Muslim Filipinos practice ritual washing before heading to a community gathering, usually in a mosque, and offer special prayers to Allah. On this day, they give the obligatory charity in the form of food known as “zakat al-fitr” and listen to special sermons on the occasion. After attending this gathering, many families choose to celebrate with a feast with their extended family and friends.
Check out the Biggest Travel, Trade, and Lifestyle Expo in Lipa City! 3-industries-in-1-Expo presented by Infinite Productions. This coming May 30-31, 2020 at The Outlets at Lipa.
For more details regarding this EXPO, contact the ff:
0917 533 5035 | 0933 879 3103