Simbang Gabi – Philippine Christmas Tradition

A cherished Christmas tradition of the Filipinos!

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Christmas Manger by Pinterest

Tradition has it that Christmas celebration in the Philippines begins on December 16, nine days before Christmas Day and ends on January 6, the feast of the Three Kings.

Simbang Gabi is a series of nine predawn masses. The predawn mass was celebrated every morning from December 16 to December 24. Then on midnight of Christmas Eve, we all went to church for Misa de Gallo to celebrate the birth of Christ.

I remember starting on December 16, we would wake up very early in the morning at around 3 am when the church bells started ringing to wake up people so they could get ready for the 4 am predawn mass. The air was usually cool and we walked to church about a mile and a half with sweaters on with the nice cool air in semi-darkness. After mass, we enjoyed seeing our relatives, friends and neighbors in front…

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