Did you know how we celebrate Christmas?

Christmas in the Philippines - A celebration which starts at midnight of Dec15 or dawn of Dec16 with the so called SIMBANG GABI or MISA DE GALLO. In English: Evening mass or Rooster's mass(dawn masses). This is a tradition practiced in the Philippines. Most Filipinos are celebrating Christmas in this manner.
@beauty_ph (2751)
Philippines
December 6, 2007 1:55am CST
A celebration which starts at midnight of Dec15 or dawn of Dec16 with the so called SIMBANG GABI or MISA DE GALLO. In English: Evening mass or Rooster's mass(dawn masses). This is a tradition practiced in the Philippines. Most Filipinos are celebrating Christmas in this manner. Filipinos are known all over the world to have the longest and merriest Christmas celebration. The formal celebration starts with the mass. But aside from that, people in our country starting from September 1 are decorating every place with Christmas decoration. By this time, radio stations and tv stations are also airing different Christmas songs and related ads. Nine days before Christmas, each evening or dawn mass are mass offering for the coming big day of the 25th of December. This is the reason why most churches are filled with church goers. Also some religious devotee would offer snacks and food delicacies for the church goers right after the mass. I wonder how Filipinos abroad can't resist getting homesick each time the Christmas season starts. If you are a Christian, how do you celebrate Christmas? If you are a non-Christian, do you admire the Christmas decors in your place or how do you figure out this kind of celebration?
7 people like this
23 responses
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Dec 07
sounds like alot of fun . and here I thought I go early putting up my decorations starting the 1st of Nov.
3 people like this
@beauty_ph (2751)
• Philippines
12 Dec 07
Yes it is earlier here. We often hear the radio playing Christmas songs on the 1st of September. That is no wonder decorations come as early as 1st day of September. People love seeing the colorful decors for Christmas.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
12 Dec 07
yes I do love seeing them to. and as we walked around our block yesterday I noticed that most people dont have any thing up yet and one house around the corner last year had a very nice display and nothing this year matter od factt he house looks empty so will keep a look out on it and for others that havent got them up yet
1 person likes this
@Estina54 (389)
• United States
6 Dec 07
I am not a Christian, but I celebrate Christmas decorating a small Chritmas tree. It is a SINGING TREE. I bought it from CVS about 8-9 years ago, it has a tape inside it that sings Christmas Carols. I like taking pictures with it every year. Last year I recorded a video of me singing along with this little tree.
@beauty_ph (2751)
• Philippines
6 Dec 07
I am glad to know that you love decoration during Christmas season too. Just like Christians, we do decorate to celebrate. It always feels great to sing with Christmas carols. We have several designs of trees too. I think some even use the live plants.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (51159)
• United States
6 Dec 07
I think I've seen that tree before. VERY cute!
1 person likes this
@monty24 (154)
• India
6 Dec 07
Hello beauty_ph,We celebrate Christmas by giving gifts to our relatives and friends.On 25th December we go to church to pray after that many of our relatives and friends comes to our house,we enjoy till night..we listen Christmas carols..have cake..etc..etc
@beauty_ph (2751)
• Philippines
6 Dec 07
I look forward to gift giving too. Some spend much money during this season. Just to be able to give to several needy and those loved ones. We often celebrate Christmas at home and in our office with exchanging or gifts. Our office also offer Christmas giveaways during our party.
2 people like this
@musicman6 (2391)
• United States
6 Dec 07
Yes, the Mexican Catholics also celebrate Christmas for that time also! They tell me they have a big celebration down there! Me, I just celebrate the traditional American Christmas, that's enough for me! I like all the decorations at this time of year , there are some that are very pretty, I enjoy looking at all the sites!
3 people like this
@miryam (6507)
• Italy
6 Dec 07
thanks for your information, in italy celebre of 25 december the born of jesus..........and all day are a party........."natale" bye myryam
3 people like this
@raychill (6530)
• United States
6 Dec 07
I think it's funny you say that Filipinos are known all over the world for this. I never knew it. In America everyone celebrates it differently. Sometimes it's based on culture. Sometimes it's based on Tradition. Sometimes it's a combination of the two.
• United States
6 Dec 07
Yeah, I never knew it either, and half my friends are Filipino. I always thought Latino and Jewish cultures had the longest, most intense celebrations, especially when you mix them. Actually Celtic traditions can be pretty involved too. Blessed Be
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (51159)
• United States
6 Dec 07
I figured it was the Italians who had the longest celebrations. I probably just am watching too much TV.
1 person likes this
@raychill (6530)
• United States
7 Dec 07
Ha ha. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one! I always just figure everyone who starts celebrating/thinking about Christmas in September celebrate longest! well them and retail stores!
1 person likes this
@ssh123 (31096)
• India
6 Dec 07
I am an Hindu, so I will not be knowing anything about your celebration. You can explain the same so that we will be aware of it. Only in TV I ust have been the snippets.
@beauty_ph (2751)
• Philippines
6 Dec 07
Christmas is a celebration. It is a celebration for the birth of Christ. Some Christians differ in the way we celebrate it. During Christmas, some of the kids to the caroling. They sing in groups and sing the Christmas songs. The adults are also doing caroling just like the kids do.
1 person likes this
@liera0 (280)
• Philippines
6 Dec 07
I'm in Philippines. But I don't usually go to dawn masses. My parents do so of course. Sad to say theres no decor in our home yet. Before I usually start putting it in September. But this year we didn't. They must have missed our cHristams here. It not's celevrated in other countries as we do. Usually they got a silent christmas. Were we have a party with family and relatives around. Sometimes with friends. It is something that people here look forward too cause its usually the time when family are together.
2 people like this
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
6 Dec 07
Oh my you do have a great celebration in the Philippines don't you?.This is very interesting information, i love to hear how other countries celebrate...I would imaging that a Filipano living here in the states would really miss all of that..Usually here in the States we start around Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving we have a huge Christmas sale called "Black Friday...Usually the day after thanksgiving we began to put up our Christmas trees, and start to decorate our homes with lights and trees and have it all pretty.The stores start very early putting up all the decorations..We just shop and buy gifts for our families..A lot of companies have Christmas parties, and all their employees are attending.Some families have parties to before Christmas...Most all the families her in the states spend Christmas eve and Christmas day with their immediate family and a few friends...Some take Christmas Eve night as a way to get togeather with the family and open gifts, some wait until Christmas day.We start preparing cookies, candy and goodies ahead of time...I am a christian and i celebrate the Birth of Christ on that day.S0me churches have a service on new Years eve night.Some attend church, it really depends on the person and what they choose to do...I do know that we do not celebrate as long as you do in the Philipines...
@AmbiePam (51159)
• United States
6 Dec 07
Our church sings Christmas songs in church right after Thanksgiving. There is one radio station here that plays only Christmas music the entire month of December until after the 26th. Decorations are everywhere, in houses, churches, stores, even doctor's offices. It's a time where everyone starts giving too, so the Salvation Army has volunteers in front of stores, ringing hand bells for people to drop some money in their bucket for those less fortunate. There are several drop sites all over the place where we can drop off a brand new toy in a special box for Toys for Tots. The toys go to kids whose families don't have money for any presents. It is an organization highly associated with the Marines. Usually our church has a Christmas play from the little kids too. If Christmas falls on a church day, we have church as normal. I'm not Catholic, so we don't have mass on Christmas Eve or anything. And there is always this lady in our church who hands out brown paper bags of treats for everyone in church, on the last Sunday before Christmas. The bags usually have nuts, apples, oranges, candy canes, and things like that. When I was a teenager, I used to go to a nursing home every year in Decemeber and talk to the elderly that were there. Some of them didn't know what was going on because of dementia, but some just wanted to have someone to talk to. I'd bring something small and pretty and they just thought it was wonderful. I quit when I got sick, but I would love to do it again. I just don't know if they have new rules about that now or not.
2 people like this
@alamode (3073)
• United States
6 Dec 07
In our family, we have many religions and some with no religion... we celebrate the SPIRIT of Christmas... the love, the sharing, the enjoyment of each other. We don't start until after our Thanksgiving in late November, but then trees, houses and yards are decorated with lights, red ribbons, evergreen branches... all the things you see in magazines and on TV. We have many parties, lots of food wherever you go, Christmas music, and, if we live in the right place, we have snow. I think that Christmas is very similar wherever you go, that the feeling of the Christmas Spirit is in everyone. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.
@beauty_ph (2751)
• Philippines
6 Dec 07
The spirit of Christmas is the same all over the world. I do agree that it is the same anywhere we go. We all recall Christ's birth. It is a wonderful time to be with our loved ones during Christmas. God bless!
1 person likes this
@alamode (3073)
• United States
16 Apr 08
Thank you!
@santuccie (3382)
• United States
7 Dec 07
Oh, that sound so nice! We don't have Christmas like that, but we do observe the month of Advent. Advent begins right after Thanksgiving. I don't know too much about tradition, but here goes: Holly was used in the Pagan days as a sign of hospitality in the winter. People would hang boughs of holly over doorways and around the house, welcoming visitors and offering shelter against the cold to tiny forest-dwelling fairies. Since holly really is used as shelter by insects and small animals, it is possible that the tradition was invented with this fact having been taken into consideration. Mistletoe is apparently associated with an ancient belief that the plant propagated from bird droppings. Given that life can spontaneously spring forth from dung, mistletoe is seen as a symbol of fertility. It has been an English tradition since only the eighteenth or nineteenth century (I think the eighteenth, since the U.S. declared independence in 1776) that any boy and girl who meet under the mistletoe are obliged to kiss. This tradition was actually used in Greece, during the festival of Saturnalia. The poinsettia was first brought to America by Joel Roberts Poinsett. He was appointed the first U.S. minister to Mexico in 1825, and brought the first plant into our country. The plant blooms in December. Then, of course, there is the Christmas tree itself. I had an LP record years ago with Christmas carols played on organ and chimes, and the back of its cover told an ancient story about a missionary in Germany, who broke the tradition of human sacrifice. He directed the people's attention to an evergreen tree, and told them that it pointed toward heaven and Christ. He told them that bringing the tree into their home was like inviting Christ into the home. Since Christ is referred to as the "Morningstar," it is tradition to place a star on the tip of the Christmas tree. My grandparents used to top the tree with an angel, but I convinced them to replace it with one of the most brilliant stars I've ever bought. :) And, of course, what's Christmas without music? "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is playing from a CD in the little stereo on my dresser behind me as I type. For a little more depth into how I celebrate Christmas, see here: http://www.helium.com/tm/736456/christmas-nanasits-again-school Merry Christmas! -santuccie P.S.: Laughing at dumb jokes is still good for your health!!!
1 person likes this
@santuccie (3382)
• United States
7 Dec 07
I forgot something. The missionary also told the Germans that the evergreen tree, unlike other trees, remained green year-round; just like Christ's reign in heaven is eternal.
1 person likes this
@mouse27 (1155)
• Canada
9 Jan 08
christmas holidays for most people in canada starts on the 24th and doesn't end til boxing day on the 26th we do how ever start the holiday cheer sometime around the 17th of the month. i myself like to keep christmas as short as possible not that i don't liek christmas but it is also my youngest daughters birthday and i try to keep both occasions seperate in my family we celebrate christmas on christmas eve the 24th which is my birthday
1 person likes this
• Singapore
17 Dec 07
Hi! I am from Singapore. I am presently attending a Church called New Creation Church. We usually have four services but near Christmas, there will be a combine service where we sing Christmas song. I do have a small tree which we have been usually yearly since we bought it. My son loves to decorate it.
1 person likes this
@shinjiao (1464)
• China
17 Dec 07
Hi beauty_ph! The brief introduction of your Christmas celebration is interesting! I'm a Chinese and I'm not a Christian. But now for many Chinese young people, Christmas is popular. In university, my mayor is English Translation and I have more chances to know the Christmas celebration in Western countries because several teachers of mine come from the United States.They tell my classmates and I the Christmas celebration in their hometowns. And in recent years in China,from the end of November to the Christmas Day, this period is considered as the Christmas Season. During this period, most shopping malls and supermarkets usually hold different activities.
1 person likes this
@squaretile (3833)
• Singapore
17 Dec 07
I go to church in the morning and will be singing with the choir this year! We are singing a medley this year of Emmanuel/Angels we have heard on high / oh come all ye faithful and Glory to God in the highest. It's fun! And I'm looking forward to the message as well when there will be a very good pastor speaking. And the night before there will be a large family gathering. lots to eat!
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
14 Dec 07
Your discription of the holiday season (Christmas) sound wonderful. I think I would like to spend some time in your country. I am a Christian and celebrate the way most in the US do, parties, gifts, and some special church services. I have the last few years done what I can to break away from all the comercialism and really celebrate the meaning behind it all.
1 person likes this
@roniroxas (10574)
• Philippines
7 Dec 07
yes, simbang gabi na. and there are a lot more to that like puto bumbong and bibingka. when i was a teenager there was a lot of simbang gabing tanan or what we call elope.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
6 Dec 07
I agree with you. This is how we Filipinos celebrate Christmas. Don't forget that families take this time to gather and have their reunion. You can really feel the sprit of Christmas when you visit our country. To all the Filipinos all over the world, I hope you can come home this Christmas. I am one of those who make it a point to complete the simbang gabi. For me a form of sacrifice that I can give as a gift to HIS birth. Advance Merry Christmas to All!!!
• Canada
6 Dec 07
Wel im not a "christian" per say, and i dont celebrate christmas because of its origins it was originally pagan worship of sun god and when constantine came about he wanted to mix his pagan holiday celebrating "mithras birth (dec 25) with christianity so he decided to mingle the 2 togther and VOILA now you have Christmas heres more info http://www.benbest.com/history/xmas.html
1 person likes this