Did you know that in the Philippines, the Christmas spirit ignites as early as September? Each year, starting on the 1st of September, the entire nation comes alive with festive decorations adorning homes, streets, and businesses. It's a time when the air resonates with the melodious tunes of Christmas carols in malls, restaurants, and on the radio waves.
But the celebration doesn't stop at December 25th; it extends deep into January. So, why does the Philippines celebrate Christmas so early, and what's the cultural significance behind it?
First and foremost, Christmas holds a special place in the hearts of Filipinos. It's not just a season of gift-giving and merry gatherings; it's deeply rooted in the country's culture and traditions. Beyond the religious significance, it's a time for families to reunite and bond, and businesses also recognize it as a golden opportunity to boost their revenues.
The Philippines kickstarts its festive season with what they call the "BER months," which cleverly includes September, October, November, and December. These months witness a surge in Christmas promotions, airline holiday offers, invitations from friends and family to dine together, and a sudden transformation of department stores into winter wonderlands, complete with Christmas trees, ornaments, and twinkling lights.
The predominant Catholic influence in the Philippines plays a significant role in this early Christmas celebration. With a majority of the population being devout Catholics, the country embraces Christmas as a time of reflection, gratitude, and unity. This religious backdrop makes it natural for businesses to commence their Christmas campaigns early, as they know it resonates deeply with the populace.
Over the years, beginning Christmas preparations in September has evolved into a cherished tradition. It's a time when Filipinos shop for Christmas gifts, reconnect with family and friends, and create lasting memories. This tradition has been passed down through generations, making it an integral part of Filipino culture.
So, if you find yourself in the Philippines during September or October, don't be surprised to encounter a holiday wonderland amidst the summer-like weather. For Filipinos, Christmas isn't just a season; it's a harmonious blend of family, friends, music, dance, and indulgent feasts that unites the entire nation in the spirit of joy and togetherness. It's a truly unique and heartwarming experience that showcases the deep-rooted cultural significance of Christmas in the Philippines.