"Maligayang Pasko!"Mag tapped into her roots between visits with Kam's side of the family.
Of course, to truly embrace Christmas, Filipino style, we're about 3 months behind! Yep, that's right: in Philippines, the Christmas season encompasses the final FOUR months of the year! My Midwestern tendency, upon hearing this, is to imagine the cause is the shorter days/longer nights of the season. But we can't forget that, being so near the equator, the duration of daylight in the Philippine Islands varies by only about an hour between the longest night of the year and the shortest night of the year.
So why do they do it, then, if not to escape the darkness of the long nights of the season? No one in the family has any idea... but is sure sounds fun!
Well, here in the good ole U.S. of A., we can't incorporate a 4-month celebration into our current lifestyle. But our family has managed to enjoy some of Kam's fondest memories of childhood Christmases in Philippines, beginning with PAROL, or Christmas lanterns, which seem to be popping up everywhere this year (like here and here).
|photo attribution: Keith Bacongo|
In Philippines, these Christmas lanterns can be small and simple, or enormous and elaborate. We made a paper version that children grow up making at home. Since Kam couldn't quite recall the how-to of homemade parol all these decades later, we followed these very user-friendly youtube directions to recreate the memories.
We made it into a family project, each person working on one "arm" of the star, with good results!
Of course, no self-respecting Filipino celebration would be complete without a FEAST! Traditionally, lechon (a whole roasted pig) would be served.
|photo attribution: Arcade|
|photo attribution: Roberto Verzo|
|(click recipe for printable pdf version)|
I hope you enjoyed this little peak into Christmas in Philippines. We had such a wonderful time celebrating Kam's roots this week that we are planning to incorporate more traditions into our festivities on Christmas day!
Wherever you are, and however you're celebrating, I hope it is just as joyous! Merry Christmas!
Multicultural Kid Blogs world tour... so many fun traditions, so little time!