The Philippines is the record holder of the country that has the longest Christmas celebration in the world. Filipinos start the Christmas countdown as early as September 1st, or as it is known locally, the start of the “Ber Months” (September, October, November, December), and rounds it up before the start of the Chinese New Year which is usually towards the end of January.
As the Catholic stronghold in Asia, the celebration of Christmas mainly revolves around religious aspects and this is shown artistically through colorful lanterns, illuminations, statues and paintings depicting the birth of Jesus and other related events.
Christmas decorations can be seen almost everywhere you go. In homes, malls, parks and even along the streets, there will always be something to remind you of Christmas. There are even Christmas Light shows which usually take place every night around the last week of November until the first week of January.
Filipinos, the ever party-loving people that they are, take Christmas celebrations to the highest level. Parties happen almost every weekend because there are separate parties for each group: friends, colleagues, relatives and family. It sounds very extravagant (and it is believe me), but for Filipinos Christmas means SHARING. You will experience being invited to parties even if you are a total stranger just passing by the venue. You may receive gifts from total strangers as well. This is what makes the Filipino Christmas unique.
We had a humble Christmas gathering in a former student’s place in Makati. Some students from Face to Face celebrated their first Christmas in the Philippines with us.
“Kris Kringle” or exchanging gifts is one of the highlights of every Christmas party.
Spaghetti and garlic bread by Chef Amber! We also had some KFC for a touch of Japanese Christmas, and of course, a few alcoholic options.
What else completes any celebration but a cake!
Christmas is the biggest and most awaited celebration in this country. However, there are more holidays and festivals to look forward to. It is truly a cultural immersion to be part of these occasions. While learning customs and traditions, you get to talk with people in a very natural manner and put your social (and English!) skills to the test. All the more reason to visit and study in Face to Face Language and Culture School!