Tuesday, December 9, 2008
World Christmas- Philippines (16 days to go...)
Tonight was rather a mild day though it got cold, 35 degrees and very windy! It suffices to say that I didn't go anywhere. It's not like I could anyway, I had one last homework to do and an essay final exam!
Anyway, many entries in our Christmas book are about celebrating the Savior's birth in different countries. Which country do you think we started with? If you guessed the Philippines, you get a gold star!
Philippine Christmas celebration is quite unique- it's an infusion of mostly Catholic traditions with Spanish and Chinese twists.
We have firecrackers that go off every night from about December 24 to New Year's Eve. We enjoy the luxury of seeing poinsettia that was grown in the northern provinces. We create lighted bamboo star-shaped lanterns called "parols" to symbolize the star that guided the three wise men. We have pastries and delicacies that are only made during Christmas time to show respect for the meaning of the holiday. We fill our tables with all kinds of goodies and eat them on midnight of Christmas Eve to show respect for the baby Jesus' entry into the world. We also toss coins in the air for the kids to share the treasure that Jesus Christ is and wish for prosperity in the coming year.
We may have been influenced by other nations over the years, but the true meaning of Christmas is alive and well in the hearts of Filipinos, rich and poor alike...
Here are some examples of what I mean: (I borrowed these images online)
A sample of the many "parol" designs.
A typical Christmas feast.
Article: Philippine Christmas (or any country of your heritage)
Song: O Little Town of Bethlehem and Little Drummer Boy
Activity: Listen to songs reflective of the main traditions in that country.
Philippines maybe considered a third world country, but we sure know how to ring in a holiday! We are known for our hospitality all over the world. And for that, I am honored to be a Filipino.