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.
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The EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary occurs every 25 February in the Philippines. It commemorates the peaceful demonstrations that occurred in 1986 and led to the overthrow of the corrupt rule of President Ferdinand Marcos.
All Souls’ Day is a day of alms giving and prayers for the dead. The intent is for the living to assist those in purgatory. Many western churches annually observe All Souls’ Day on November 2 and many eastern churches celebrate it prior to Lent and the day before Pentecost.
Padre Garcia, Batangas Foundation Day December 01, 2020
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.
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.
On “Black Saturday,” preparations are made for the late-night Easter vigil at church. There, the Gloria is sung, and some call it “Glorious Saturday.” In some places, an effigy of Judas is hung and burned up, though sometimes, he is blown to pieces by firecrackers. At midnight, the fasting and mourning ends because it is finally the day on which Christ arose from the grave in victory.
A 4am on Easter Morning, a ceremony commemorates the meeting of Mary and Jesus after the Resurrection. The black-veiled image of Mary is unveiled by one or more people dressed up like angels, and sometimes, the veil is tied to balloons or a dove to be carried away in the air. The image of Christ also is unveiled, and flowers and confetti fall down on the statues of both Mary and Jesus. Bells ring and fireworks explode in the sky. Legend has it, however, that if the veil is removed only with difficulty, bad luck will accompany the year to come.
Calatagan, Batangas’ celebration of Kinuyog Festival 2020 on December 16, 2020.
Maundy Thursday is the start of the main Easter celebrations in the Philippines, which is part of the larger Holy Week celebrations. According to Biblical tradition, Jesus was crucified on the Cross on a Friday (hence, “Good Friday”), and Maundy Thursday commemorates the events leading up to the Crucifixion.
Maundy (also known as the “Washing of the Feet”) is a religious rite. A re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper and Jesus washing his disciples’ feet are often observed on this day. Filipinos traditionally visit either seven or 14 churches (this tradition is called visita iglesia or “to visit churches”) where this re-enactment is held.
Sta. Teresita, Batangas Founding Anniversary December 29, 2020
Happy 52nd Founding Anniversary Laurel, Batangas!
Maligayang ikatlong taong pagdiriwang ng Tilapia Festival!
Tema : Sari-saring pagsubok ay ating lagpasan. Ngiti lang kabayan. Magtutulungan at muling magkakasiyahan, Laurel Minamahal kong bayan.
Abangang ang kanilang Online Live Celebration ngayong darating na ika-21 ng Hunyo, 2021 | 7PM sa Tilapia Festival Official Facebook Page at sa WOWBatangas.
Bonifacio Day is a national public holiday every 30 November in the Philippines to celebrates the birthday of one of the country’s greatest heroes, Andrés Bonifacio.
Born on 30 November 1863, Bonifacio is considered as the Father of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonisation. He, along with some others, started a movement known as the ‘Katipunan’ in 1892. The Katipunan was a secret revolutionary society that instigated military revolts against the Spanish colonisers.
Bonifacio became the Katipunan’s military leader and the president of the revolutionary government, which (according to some historians) makes Bonifacio the first president of the Philippine Republic. Bonifacio and the Katipunan recruited many citizens to their cause, eventually becoming the most prominent revolutionary force the Spaniards had to face.
However Bonifacio’s leadership was contested by some others, and in particular, Emilio Aguinaldo. After a series of leadership challenges and internal rifts, Aguinaldo violently took over the revolutionary forces and unjustly ordered Bonifacio to be tried and executed under the guise of treason.
Bonifacio Day is held every 30 November, or the Monday nearest this day to create a long weekend. Unlike the main national hero, José Rizal, Bonifacio Day is celebrated on his day of birth, rather than his day of death. This is because Bonifacio was killed by his fellow countrymen, rather than at the hands of foreign colonisers.
Good Friday is part of the Christian Easter Week celebrations (also known as ‘Holy Week’). Good Friday is two days before Easter Sunday, which normally coincides with the March Equinox and may also coincide with the Jewish Passover.
Good Friday in the Philippines is a national public holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The crucifixion is symbolised by the Cross and, according to the Biblical Gospels, it was by this ancient form of death penalty that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself and died so that he could save humanity from their sins.
Easter is a solemn holiday season and many Filipinos abstain from activities they may deem as ‘worldly’ (e.g. drinking alcohol). On Good Friday, many choose to abstain from eating meat and often pray and fast as part of their religious traditions.
Masses are held in the early afternoon to commemorate and reflect on Jesus’ crucifixion. According to Christian scriptures, Jesus died on the cross at 3pm, so it is at this time in the mass that people become silent and meditate on Jesus’ sacrificial death.
Catholic Filipinos observe the Stations of the Cross as part of the Good Friday mass. These ‘stations’ are often paintings or sculptures that depict specific moments of Jesus on his way to be crucified. They are also often re-enacted by actors as part of an Easter procession. In the Philippines in particular, some people even go so far as to crucify themselves on a wooden cross to symbolise their devotion, as part of their penance or vow.
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.
All Saints’ Day in the Philippines is usually celebrated on the first and second day of November. In the Philippines, this holiday is often referred to as Undas.
All Saints’ Day is an important day in many Catholic countries. As the Philippines is the world’s third largest Catholic country, the country celebrates it with gusto. Traditionally, All Saints’ Day marks a Roman Catholic holiday that celebrates saints who were not awarded their own feast days. It also marks a celebration of the lives of the deceased.
All Saints’ Day in the Philippines is celebrated similarly to the way the holiday is marked in other former Spanish colonies like Mexico. On November 1st each year, people flock to their family plots in cemeteries across the country. They also use this holiday to hold a family reunion where groups of an extended family gather together.
The day is filled with music and food. There is also prayer and religious traditions. At the end of the day, people will often camp overnight in the cemetery to pay their respects to their dead relatives. Visitors remark that Filipinos are remarkably at home among their dead ancestors.
Filipinos are known for having great respect for their dead. To prepare for Undas, families will visit the graves of their ancestors before the holiday to clean up the area and perform maintenance. During the holiday, people will decorate the graves with flowers and candles. The cemeteries will come alive during this period.
In addition to these traditions, other Catholic traditions are also observed. Many cemeteries will hold a special mass during the day. The rest of the day is often marked by periods of prayer and the recitation of the Litany for the Dead.
This holiday is a mix of the observance of the dead and a joyful holiday. Families bring plenty of food and drink for their dead relatives. Some believe that the deceased are taking part in the feast alongside the living. While most bring food directly to the cemetery, other families will also leave food at home on altars for any relatives who aren’t buried in the cemetery.
The Philippines is the largest Christian country in Asia. As a result, much of the country shuts down over these two days. Offices and schools both close during this period.