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What makes Celebration of Christmas in the Philippines Unique?

The Philippines has the world’s most extended and merriest Christmas season. Consider the Filipinos enjoying the festival for four months, celebration of Christmas in the Philippines is from September until early January. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see a slew of massive Christmas decorations put up in malls, parks, and open areas around the country as early as September.

Celebration of Christmas in the Philippines are made here and there by friends and families living huge distances apart. It’s a happy time to gather and devour a lot of food. Families will play games, sing karaoke, and enjoy the pleasant environment.

Filipino Ways of Celebrating Christmas

This list can help you blend in if you wish to join the months-long pleasure celebrating Christmas in the Philippines. Do what the locals do, and you will have a Christmas to remember.

Shop Early

Frugal locals understand that the best cost-effective method to shop for Christmas decorations is in the markets. Unfortunately, marketplaces get pretty crowded as soon as the holiday season arrives. To escape the craziness, buy your holiday decorations in the middle of the year, preferably beginning in September.

Christmas Playlist

What better way to get into the Christmas mood than by listening to Christmas music? Celebration of Christmas in the Philippines is not complete without a playlist of your favorite Christmas songs, including some bright and vibrant for festive parties and others calm and slow for nights with a hot cup of cocoa. While everyone has unique preferences, and there will always be Christmas classics, listen to music from local Filipino performers. Jose Mari Chan has long been the country’s season standout if you’re at a loss for where to begin.

Join Parties

Any group you belong to, there’s a Christmas party for you. There’s the Christmas party at school, the one at work, the one with your tight circle of pals, the one with your high school mates, your university buddies, your relatives, and your basketball team. Celebration of Christmas in the Philippines ‘ list goes on and on. It will be a monetary stumbling block because most of them are potlucks and will entail some “Secret Santa” present exchange, but they will be a fantastic build-up to the big party on Christmas Eve.

Cancel that Diet

In the Philippines, Christmas is a never-ending feast. The food will be plentiful and delectable, from every Christmas party buffet table to the grand Noche Buena feast. Please don’t waste your time trying to keep to your diet because it’s unlikely to happen. Don’t miss out on the pinnacle of the country’s love for food, and enjoy yourself in the culinary entertainment. 

Complete Simbang Gabi ( Dawn Masses)

Over 80 percent of the population in the Philippines is Roman Catholic, and many people follow the Christmas tradition of Simbang Gabi, in which people rise at the crack of dawn-around three to five a.m.- to attend mass. The celebration of Christmas in the Philippines starts from December 16 until Christmas Eve, dawn masses in the Church are open for early risers. Kakanin (Rice Cakes) is what early risers treat themselves for waking up early. 

Aguinaldo for the Children

If you have children and plan to visit family in the Philippines during the holidays, this following Christmas tradition will delight them. Filipinos place a high priority on family and appreciate tight relationships with extended family members. Therefore, on Christmas Day, Filipinos go to extended family members’ houses so that their children can pay their respects to their elderly relatives.

Typically, the youngsters form a line to conduct Pagmamano, a Filipino greeting of respect (which involves taking the elder’s hand, bending slightly, and touching the back of the hand to their forehead). The elders then distribute crisp banknotes to the children as “aguinaldo” (the Spanish term for “bonus”).

Parol Decors

Filipino Christmas is a time to celebrate family, friends, and community, and this loving attitude seems to waft through the air more than presents and an abundance of food. So enjoy this upbeat attitude, which will remain until the year’s fourth quarter, and conclude the year on a high note.

Enjoy the parols that adorn every street, home, and corner; listen to the melodies of street carollers and their makeshift instruments; and open your heart to the cheerful Filipinos who make their nation one of the most magnificent places in the world to celebrate the holidays genuinely.

Setting a Belen

Nativity scenes, often known as Belen, are only shown in churches or other religious buildings in most nations. However, during the holiday season, every Filipino family will have one set up. Whether from original porcelain or repurposed materials, you will see them at schools, building lobbies, and homes. Some schools and barangays even organize competitions for the best Belen, which results in some extravagant displays.

Celebration of Filipino Christmas Spirit Alive when Living Abroad

Overseas Filipino workers often spend time away from their families during Christmas. It can get pretty difficult, especially during holiday seasons, being away from their loved ones. But there are ways to keep the spirits alive. 

Filipino Friends

Remotely, large parties with Filipino cuisine, singing, and gift exchanges continue. In addition, Filipinos can catch up and share tales using Zoom, FaceTime, and other services. Being surrounded by familiar energies can assist in keeping the spirit of Christmas alive.

Filipino Decorations and Food

Even though Filipinos have been in their new home away from home for a long time, many of them maintain traditional family Christmas rituals. Among these include:

  • The use of parol or lantern decorations.
  • The preparation of Filipino food.
  • The celebration of Noche Buenas.

Filipino Events

Filipinos not only instil the Philippine Christmas spirit in their new host nations, but they also immerse themselves in the local culture. Some people give their time and blessings by distributing Christmas food baskets, participating in charity fun runs, or volunteering.

Delicious Noche Buena Dishes in the Philippines

Filipinos adore cuisine, whether indigenous, American, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or even European. Celebration of Christmas in the Philippines is without a doubt, is a melting pot of diverse cultures and customs. This list has the traditional dishes you will find in every household during Christmas. 


Lechon, also known as Litsong Baboy, is derived from the Spanish phrase for “suckling pig.” Lechon has been a part of Filipino culture since the Spanish conquest. Therefore, it is no surprise that this is the primary host or focus of most events in the Philippines and even internationally. 

Filipino Style Spaghetti

The sweet form of Philippine spaghetti is one of them. Foreigners want it to be slightly sour, but Filipinos prefer it to be sweet. What is the reason behind this? Perhaps it is what the Filipino palate prefers.

Christmas Ham

The majority of Filipinos buy Hamon at the grocery store or from a friend who sells it. However, during the holidays, it is one of the traditional dishes offered to guests. Topped with a unique sauce, this Filipino Hamon has a sweet and savory combination.


It’s a sort of meatloaf made in the Filipino manner. It truly is the Filipino equivalent of meatloaf. Embutido is known as Enchido in Spain and Portugal. It implies that the stuffings, such as hashed meat, spices, and herbs, are wrapped in the skin of the pig’s intestines, but the majority of them are artificial but edible skin.

Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata is a Filipino delicacy made of deep-fried pig trotters or knuckles with a soy-vinegar sauce! During each drinking session, it is one of the renowned Pulutans or beer bouts.


Pancit Malabon, Pancit Bihon, or Pancit Canton, these noodles can wreck your diet since you won’t realize how much you’ve been eating. Since the Chinese brought noodles, this has been in our local cuisine.


It’s a delectable dish that’s ideal for serving as finger food. Other ethnicities refer to Lumpiang Shanghai as spring rolls as well. This can be seen at any Filipino event, not just during the holidays.

Lechon Kawali

This boiled and deep-fried pig belly will make you wish you were younger, so don’t be too health-conscious and gobble it up.

Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken is sometimes known as “Turbo Chicken” or “Lechon Manok.” One of the kids’ favorites in the family, he appears at all birthdays and celebrations.


Carbonara is a traditional Italian dish made with eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper. There are several ideas as to how Carbonara came to be the way it is presently. Every Filipino home has its unique method of preparing the meal, and the result is always excellent.


During Noche Buenas and other important occasions, pork is unquestionably one of the most well-known heroes. Although it is simple to grill pork since all you need is some space, patience, and coal should take the marinating procedure carefully because the marination of the pork belly will influence whether or not the finished product receives favorable or unfavourable feedback.


Sisig is a Kapampangan phrase that means “to nibble on anything sour.” It grew into what it is now throughout time, although it was initially a salad of green fruits with salt, pepper, garlic, and vinegar.


There are several methods and variations for making paella, including chicken, pig, clams, prawns, and mussels. Despite its origins in Valencia, Spain, many people believe the term “paella” is closely related to Baqiyah, the Arabic word for leftovers. The name derives from the Latin word patella, which refers to a gift to the gods.


Barbecued chicken, beef, or pork is one of Filipinos favorite dishes. It might be a starter, a main meal, or a snack. However, you will need time to marinate the meat that will utilize a variety of spices. 


Kare-Kare is a classic Filipino oxtail stew served with peanut sauce. Best when accompanied with bagoong or shrimp paste. It is considered a speciality at special events.

Why do Filipinos Enjoy Celebrating Christmas?

In the Phillippines, Christmas is grand. As a result, Filipinos look forward to the season with bated breath. But why do Filipinos celebrate Christmas so much? Let’s take a look at the reasons why. 

Entertainments, Families, and Customs

Christmas is widely celebrated in the Philippines since it represents a feast. In addition, the customs and religious rituals associated with the season give Filipinos a sense of ownership over the holiday.

The disposition with which the Church celebrates the Advent season also impacts the optimistic view for Christmas. It’s an upbeat attitude about Christ’s coming, and in this way, the Filipino’s cheerful demeanor is deeply religious.


Christmas is a joyous time of year due to its widespread commercialization and gift-giving habit. Of course, festivals are happy events, yet we can’t overlook the monetary side of festivals: people are eager to spend money.

Exchanging gifts is a tradition, and it’s a means of reinforcing relationships; via gift-giving, Filipinos may rekindle the sense of duty they have for one another. Christmas is an excellent opportunity to reconfirm that.

Is it religious or commercial?

Would the practice of celebrating Christmas be primarily commercial or religious, given the amount of spiritual meaning and commercial symbols like Santa Claus inherent in the season? They are mutually reinforcing. They are constantly linked because religious acts usually have business ramifications.

The core of Christmas is religious; much economic activity is encouraged because it may commercially transmit Christmas ideals. This has enabled Christmas to become a globally recognized holiday, regardless of its religious origins.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What distinguishes Christmas in the Philippines?

A: Filipinos celebrate the season in their unique way, with various cuisines and customs that make Christmas especially memorable. Because of the Filipinos’ strong sense of family and the importance of keeping relationships, Christmas is the ideal time to share love and blessings. In the Philippines, Christmas is all about family.

Q: What is the name of the Philippines’ great Christmas tradition?

A: Simbang Gabi, a nine-night series of masses concluding Christmas Eve, is a traditional Filipino celebration. If you make a wish after finishing the nine masses, it will come true.

Q: Why do we exchange presents at Christmas?

A: The most prevalent interpretation is that presents are given during Christmas to remind those who celebrate the gifts delivered to the infant Jesus to commemorate his birth.

Q: In the Philippines, how long does Christmas last?

A: The Christmas season begins on September 1 and continues until December 25. It finishes in either the third or fourth week of January or February.

Q: What is the Philippines’ national dish?

A: Many Filipinos believe adobo to be the country’s national dish.

Q: How does Christmas get celebrated in the Philippines?

A: In the Philippines, people celebrate immediately following the Christmas Midnight Mass.

Last Words

Christmas serves as a reminder to Filipinos of their feeling of community and family. Apart from the food, festivities, lights, and music, the essential aspect of this holiday season is the time spent with family and friends. Celebration of Christmas in the Philippines can happen whether you are in the country or not. Whether you were born, grew up, or spent time in the Philippines, it is a part of who you are.


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