Celebrating Christmas is very important to Filipinos. Thus, it is easy to know when the Yuletide season has completely taken over us. Here are some of the most common Filipino Christmas traditions every Pinoy and Pinoys at heart can relate with
Christmas Reunions Here and There
Being a family-oriented nation, Filipinos are fond of family reunions especially during special occasions. This is why Christmas parties among relatives are very common in the country. Plus, in most cases, it is only during holidays that families and relatives get to see each other!
Pamasko or Aginaldo from Ninongs and Ninangs
Filipino kids love the Christmas season because Ninongs and Ninangs (Godfathers and godmothers) are expected to give them their ‘pamasko’ or ‘aginaldo.’
Kris Kringle (Monito Monita)
Kris Kringle or Monito Monita is the Philippine version of Secret Santa where a person picks out someone to give a present to without revealing it and without knowing who picked him/her. This is often considered the highlight of most Christmas parties in the Philippines in the form of exchange gifts!
Christmas Parols in Most Households
Although Christmas trees are probably one of the most iconic items in Christmas, Filipinos would tend to have this one in their household: the bright, colorful, and beautiful parol. Parols are basically Christmas lanterns in the shape of a star. They are made out of different materials, and they sometimes light up like a shining star!
Children Caroling in the Streets
You probably hear “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way” and “Namamasko po” every December. With almost every popular Christmas caroling song being sung by children in the streets, you can’t help but memorize their lines and give them some ‘pamasko.’
Simbang Gabi is a very popular religious tradition in the Philippines. Filipinos basically attend a “simbang gabi” or a 9-day mass series before Christmas day.
Of course, a Filipino Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the much-anticipated Noche Buena. Noche Buena is basically a festive family dinner at home during Christmas Eve. This is in celebration and an act of welcoming Christmas day.
These traditions definitely make Christmas a lot more special! From simple Christmas reunions to fun and memorable Noche Buenas with our loved ones, Filipino Christmas is surely one of a kind!