Customs and Traditions in Celebrating Christmas in the Philippines


Christmas celebration in the Philippines is considered to be the longest one in Asia.

Eve. Christmas spirit can be felt everywhere.  Approximately, Filipinos are 90% Christians and 80% of that Catholic.  Keeping up in Christmas preparations, how do Filipinos celebrate Christmas in the Philippines?

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Below are the customs and traditions on how Filipinos enjoy this season and what you can expect if you’re celebrating this special holiday in the Philippines.

Simbang Gabi

Customs and Traditions in Celebrating Christmas in the PhilippinesSimbang Gabi by Shubert Ciencia CC BY 2.0

This is one of the oldest Christmas traditions in the Philippines. Filipinos flock to the Catholic church to attend a 9~ day pre-dawn mass or commonly known as “Simbang Gabi”.  People wake up at dawn and go to church to attend the 1-hour church service that usually begins at 4 am. On  Christmas Eve, they usually held the church service in the evening. The Simbang Gabi is a way of thanksgiving, worship, petition or simply to fulfilling someone’s wish come true. Some Filipinos believe that if you completed the 9-day church service, your ultimate wish might come true!


Customs and Traditions in Celebrating Christmas in the PhilippinesPhoto by Gep Pascual CC BY-ND 2.0


You might have already seen something like this somewhere else or probably only in the Philippines; you might think it is unique. Indeed! Filipinos are always very creative that they even design parols on their own. Parols are graced with various designs, colours, sizes, lights, and prices. It is a traditional symbol of Christmas spirits in the Philippines, and each house has one or more parols hanging whichever spot is visible. It is like a star shining…

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