Parol – Philippine symbol of Christmas

Parol – Another Philippine Christmas Tradition!


Parol An old Christmas card (1973) from a relative in the Philippines

The symbol of Christmas in the Philippines is not the Christmas Tree but the Parol that probably had its origins in the Mexican’s piñata. While parols come in all sizes, in Pampanga, the electric parols in later years stand 20 to 30 ft high, giving off a blaze of kaleidoscopic color and light that fills the evening sky.

Every house including the little bahay kubo, nipa hut have a small parol. Filipinos make parol, a Christmas lantern in the form of a five-pointed star. Sometimes it is inside a circle, sometimes not. It is made of bamboo strips and covered with cellophane paper in various hues. There is usually a light inside the star. These lanterns represent the star of Bethlehem, the guiding light that led the three wise men to the infant Jesus. Sometimes they finish…

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