Day 20

Fond of the “12 Days of Christmas”? Well, in the Philippines, there’s 4 months of Christmas! (Four and a half- if you include the Catholic Church’s celebration of Jesus Christ’s Baptism.)

September, the first of the ‘ber’ months, signals the start of the holiday season. So yes, you might be surprised to hear Christmas songs playing at the malls as early as September 1st! Families also start decorating their homes as early as September.

Another Philippine tradition is the “Simbang Gabi” or dawn mass, a 9-day novena mass from December 16th to 24th, usually held at 3am – 5am. With so many churchgoers wanting to complete those 9 days, the churches are usually jampacked, some even have to stand outside.

[Thank you to Banana’s Team Member, Janice – who lives in the Philippines- for sharing her culture with us!!]

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