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Traditions in the Philippines

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Autor:   •  May 14, 2011  •  Essay  •  983 Words (4 Pages)  •  4,084 Views

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Over time, every country, every culture, and even every family that celebrates Christmas has developed unique customs and traditions. Some of the traditions were adapted thousands of years ago, others have been modified much more recently, but all share the common elements of peace, kindness, joy, and hope. Philippines celebrate Christmas like no other Asian nation. Filipinos usually prepare for Christmas in a very religious way. Christmas in the Philippines is a mixture of Western and native Filipino traditions. Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, sending Christmas cards, and singing carols have all been inherited from the cultures of the West. However, these have all been adapted to fit the nature and personality of the Filipino people. Christmas is important to me because it strengthens my relationship with my family and it reminds me of my tradition.

Decorating together brings the family closer. A fun loving festive spirit is uniquely seen in Filipino tradition. Countdown starts on the first of September which has its own magic. Even though life in the Philippines is difficult, people still strive their best to save money for the Christmas. As I recall vividly during my childhood in the Philippines we make lanterns made of bamboo, the "parol", which symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. My siblings and I often make a star-shaped framework made of bamboo sticks and then cover it with different colors of Japanese paper. We always make sure that each and everyone of us have their own lanterns and that we do it at the same time when decorating them. My father usually guides us on how to make a perfect lantern. As we make our lanterns, my mother usually prepares snack for all of us. We also decorate our Christmas tree together. I often choose the theme for the year and we create our own decors to show our creativity. Decorating the tree makes me feel that we can make anything beautiful if it consists of love and hardship.We talk, laugh and have fun every time we do it.

We just don't help each other in making lanterns but we also go to church. Filipinos usually prepare for Christmas in a very religious way. We go to church straight for nine days before Christmas. This kind of tradition is called, "Simbang Gabi." Waking up early is the toughest but attending the mass is an expression of devotion to God and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our way of thanksgiving is by attending this mass because the family that prays together, stays together. Going to church made me realize how important they are to me. My Christmas memories can never be compared to anyone else. Also, attending the mass strengthens my faith in God. After mass we buy the traditional foods such as rice cakes, hot cocoa, egg cakes which are cooked on top and under by charcoal. I love to feast it with ginger tea sold by vendors outside the church to shake off the morning chill.

Christmas Eve in the Philippines is one of the traditions most families


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