Christmas in the Philippines is a delightful diversion from the customary wintry holiday celebration since it’s conventional wisdom that the tropical environment brings its own special charm to the holiday season. The Philippines, one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, is known for its breathtakingly rich biodiversity, ancient towns, tropical coastlines, and tropical forests. Throughout Christmas in the Philippines, the country delights in the sun while admiring the holiday spirit.
Christmas in the Philippines is a combination of cultures and customs, with colorful festivals, thrilling carnivals, and appealing streets chiming with musical and cultural activities. It is a season when the warmth of the holidays combines with the exotic draw of palm trees, sand beaches, and bright tropical vistas.
Think about yourself taking a stroll through bustling avenues that are ornamented with bright lights and decorations while feeling the warm breeze kiss your skin. Sounds appealing, right? So let’s go into further specifics and discover how Christmas traditions can harmoniously be merged into the tropical paradise of the Philippines.
- 1 Christmas Traditions In The Philippines
- 2 Facts about Christmas Eve & Christmas In the Philippines
- 3 What to Do During Christmas in the Philippines
- 4 Traditional Christmas Delicacies In The Philippines
- 5 Final Thoughts
Christmas Traditions In The Philippines
The Philippines’ Christmas season is known as the world’s longest Christmas festivity. Therefore, it’s not necessary to wait until December to feel the Christmas spirit. In the Philippines, September 1, the first day of the so-called “BER months,” welcomes the season of celebrations.
Philippines Christmas trees, vibrant lights, and bright stores start to display Christmas decorations that convey the holiday spirit three months ahead of the day of Christmas in the Philippines. Food, love, joy, colors, and kindness are all important aspects of the holiday season.
Filipinos are known for their love of all things flashy. Therefore, the Christmas tree is always adorned with ornaments, bows, and ribbons. Each year, people decorate certain trees with flashing lasers according to a theme.
Before the New Year, it is customary for Filipinos to place 12 fruits in the center of the dining room table. It is a very traditional belief for families in the Philippines that these fruits will drive away evil spirits. The centerpiece of the table is typically a combination of fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges.
To ensure a prosperous year, it’s also customary on New Year’s Eve to scatter money around the house. To drive away the spirits, people may often strike cooking pots quite hard. The elder generation also places coins and rice in bedroom corners as another sign of success since everyone wants to ensure that they are starting the New Year off right.
Facts about Christmas Eve & Christmas In the Philippines
Filipino Catholics commemorate Christmas Eve on December 24 with a Midnight Mass and the customary Noche Buena meal, which is enjoyed by the entire family at around midnight.
In the Philippines, families spend most of Christmas Day together. Many Filipinos who remain up late on Christmas Eve to celebrate Noche Buena throughout the entire night like to have the Misa de Gallo between 10 pm and midnight. When the local time in the Philippines states the beginning of Christmas, fireworks and most other merrymaking tools are occasionally employed.
Filipinos frequently visit their extended family, particularly to show respect to elderly relatives, preferably in the morning. In particular, godparents are expected to honor their godchildren with gifts in socially acceptable manners.
On this particular day, after lunch, some families decide to unwrap gifts. In the evening, family members typically head back home or stay put to drink, engage in conversation, and play games. A minority spends the entire day at home to relax from the previous day’s festivities, while some choose to enjoy another feast as their dinner.
What to Do During Christmas in the Philippines
If you’ve decided to visit the Philippines during Christmas time and are wondering what kinds of activities you can take part in, you should know that exploring the wonders of Christmas in the Philippines goes beyond admiring the festive decorations and partaking in traditional customs.
Let’s take a look at some of the exciting activities you can enjoy during Christmas in the Philippines.
1. Get Involved in the Carol
One of the most widely recognized methods of making Christmas in the Philippines so merry is through carol singing, which begins in September. Many groups all around the nation play widely recognized holiday melodies in both their local languages and English on the streets and at marketplaces.
The best part about this custom is that vocalists are quite welcoming to everyone, and you have the opportunity to sing along with them if you desire. Singing holiday tunes and socializing with people are two of the most enjoyable experiences travelers may have while traveling the nation. Additionally, caroling has recently grown to be one of the major fundraising events for charities around the country, spreading the spirit of giving during the festive season.
2. Visit to Pampangas
During Christmas in the Philippines, Pampanga may be the best location to spend the holiday. Without a trip to this place, celebrating Christmas in the Philippines truly isn’t complete. Since it began 80 years ago, Pampanga has hosted the internationally renowned Giant Lantern Festival, which is one of the most beautiful sights in the entire globe.
The entire city is illuminated by homemade lanterns built by locals, and at night, the city sparkles brightly, providing you with some of the most breathtaking scenery you will ever see in your life. As you wander through the streets adorned with dazzling lanterns, you can immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and be captivated by the synchronized patterns of lights and the festive music that fills the air.
3. Visit the Baguio Country Club
Baguio Country Club, a very intricate Christmas village constructed for celebrations, is the place to make arrangements for any visitor looking for a stunning performance. Its dazzling light show and simulated snow have made it one of the nation’s top Christmas attractions.
Tourists may experience a real Christmas climate here, complete with artificial snow and chilly weather. The club also has several constructions created specifically for Christmas in the Philippines from recycled supplies used by local artists. So, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the magical ambiance as you witness the enchanting light show, where the whole village comes to life in a symphony of twinkling lights and animated decorations.
4. Shop at Local Bazaars
Christmas present buying is a joyous affair in the Philippines at the end of the year since all the malls and stores lower their prices. Every bazaar resembles a celebration of unique souvenirs and local products as individuals acquire a lot of presents and donate them to their friends, family, and the less fortunate.
Giving gifts is one of the city’s oldest and most cherished customs, and this month is the ideal time for everyone to get involved.
5. Explore Snow World In Star City
Snow World in Star City is the ideal destination for those seeking a more calm and unwinding experience. In a usually warm nation, Snow World in Star City gives its visitors the chance to enjoy a beautiful, white Christmas.
With a variety of indoor attractions like igloos, snow sculptures, kid-friendly train rides, lengthy ice slides, and more, Snow World is an absolute must-see attraction for families wishing to have a good time with their kids, making Star City one of the top tourist destinations during Christmas in the Philippines.
Traditional Christmas Delicacies In The Philippines
In the Philippines, enjoying Christmas dinner entails gathering around the table with family and friends to share emotions and sing carols. All families in the Philippines put out their best delicacies for Noche Buena, the Christmas feast, so the food on the table is always joyous.
Lechon, bibingka, lumpia, spaghetti cooked in the Filipino style, pancit, Hamon, and leche flan are some of the traditional Christmas dishes in the Philippines. A Filipino dinner is never complete without an offering of flavorful meat, whether it be pork, beef, chicken, or even goat or buffalo, since the majority of Filipinos are dedicated meat lovers.
Filipinos are fond of sweet Christmas snacks as well. Although ice cream and chocolates are commonly appreciated, holidays like Christmas give prominence to traditional delicacies. Filipino desserts are frequently made with milk and are very delicious.
It should not be surprising that Filipinos have developed inventive methods of cooking rice sweets, given that rice is an essential ingredient in the country. Rice cakes are additionally unique Christmas treats, along with other classic delicacies like mango tapioca and leche flan.
As you can see, Christmas in the Philippines is a great intersection of customs, colorful festivals, exhilarating carnivals, and attractive sidewalks filled with musical and cultural performances. With so much going on during these three months of celebrations, the Philippines provides its visitors with the best possible Christmas experience.
Christmas Day for Filipinos is a time when the festive warmth of the holiday season blends with the exotic allure of vivid tropical landscapes.
With this comprehensive understanding of Christmas in the Philippines, you can be certain that you’ll return home with only happy memories to share with your friends and relatives for many years to come.
Nato is a content writer and researcher with a background in psychology who’s eager to explore the wonders of nature. As a travel enthusiast and animal lover, she hopes to inspire others to discover and cherish the beauty and importance of the natural world.