Different Traditions during this Christmas Season!

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One of the many traditions in the Filipino culture is the “parol” (or lantern). The parol was created by an artisan named Francisco Estanislao in 1928, and is used during the Christmas season.

One of the many traditions in the Filipino culture is the “parol” (or lantern). The parol was created by an artisan named Francisco Estanislao in 1928, and is used during the Christmas season. The traditional parol was made of bamboo sticks and covered with papel de Hapon (Japanese paper). Francisco also created the five-pointed star! This star lantern was originally made to light the paths to and from the church for people to go to Misa de Gallo. Misa de Gallo was an early morning mass before sunrise, inherited by the Filipinos from Spain. It was then later used as a festive decoration for parties and special occasions.

The parol is a special part in the Filipino tradition and is still alive today! Speaking of this, there was a lantern workshop very recently! The Philippine American Society of Colorado in cooperation with the Aurora History Museum, sponsored a lantern workshop on October 13th. It was a well attended turn out in our community for both young and old. I would truly recommend this to anyone that likes a little craft, and can enjoy the true spirit of Christmas!

One of the most important things taught to Filipino children is to show respect to their elders. A traditional way to show respect for elders is called “Mano Po”. It is one of the oldest traditions in Filipino culture. This sign of respect originated a long time ago when the Pope would extend his hand out to priests and nuns to give them blessings as they kissed his signet ring. Filipinos adopted this tradition to show respect for their elders. Mano Po is performed when one slightly bows to one’s elder as they take the elder’s hand and respectfully place it to one’s forehead.

Three years ago I learned about “Mano Po” when I attended the Bayanihan Christmas party. I was told that especially during Christmas children do the “Mano Po” and receive a gift, usually money. My family has been following this tradition ever since.

Finally, there is a tradition that after Christmas Eve mass, we get together with family and friends to share a feast! This tradition is celebrated all over the world and is known as “Noche Buena”, which originated in Spain.

As you can see, there are so many traditions in the world and these are only a few! All of these traditions are great ways to celebrate Christmas!