Filipino Christmas Decors That Will Put You in a Festive Mood
The Philippines is famous for celebrating Christmas months earlier than the rest of the world does. In as early as September, you can see parol, belen, and other ornaments already hanging over homes and store displays.
Today, you’ll get to learn more about these iconic Filipino Christmas decors. It is a known fact that the country’s culture and traditions are the product of years of colonization by different countries including Spain and the USA. So it comes as no surprise that a lot of these decors have remnants of the West. However, as the years pass, Filipinos have been incorporating their own unique style into these designs, most of which have even found their way to foreign shores!
Without any further ado, here are the most beautiful and popular Filipino Christmas decors in no particular order.
Popular Filipino Christmas Decors Found in Households
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A parol is a star-shaped lantern from the Philippines. They’re usually made out of bamboo and paper and come in a variety of sizes. The star shape of the parol is reminiscent of the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Kings to the manger. Other than its religious connection, it also symbolizes the hope and goodwill Filipinos embody during the Christmas season and the rest of the year.
Most parols nowadays no longer follow the traditional design. To add a more modern touch, the simple five-pointed stars now come in 4-, 8-, 10, and even 16-pointed-star shape! Some designs also use other native materials like capiz shells and nipa. Twinkling bulbs and dazzling patterns are common in parol designs as well.
Aside from adorning the home, parols are sometimes placed in parks, offices, schools, and shopping malls. And you shouldn’t be surprised if you saw them in public vehicles too.
The word “belen” is derived from the Spanish name for the town of Bethlehem. This Christmas decoration features two- or three-dimensional figures in a Christian nativity scene. It follows the birth of Jesus Christ in the manger, surrounded by Virgin Mary, Joseph, shepherds and their flock, the stable animals, and an angel. Belens are often displayed in homes, churches, and other public places.
Homemade Christmas Trees
Since live pine trees can be expensive, most Filipino households turn to store-bought trees instead. The beauty of store-bought trees are enhanced by the creativity of Filipinos, some even make use of a dead tree trunk for a more organic feel! To create the leaves, crepe paper or green foil are used. The trees are typically adorned with glittery balls, laces, ribbons, and other ornaments.
Filipinos are known for their innovation and creativity, so it should come as no surprise that most Filipinos choose to create their own decors! One of the most common decorative ornaments in the Philippines are those that are made of rattan. Instead of using plastic balls, this wooden material is woven together to create unique Christmas decorations.