The Philippines shows the world how to celebrate Christmas

Story highlights

  • The Philippines has the longest Christmas season in the world -- from September to January
  • The festive season is marked by traditional masses, spectacular light displays and family gatherings
  • Traditional paper and bamboo lanterns known as 'parols' light up many Filipino villages and towns
  • Some villages organise contents for the best Christmas decorations
Where would you find the most Christmas spirit in the world? It's hard to say for certain, but if a global competition were to be held, the Philippines would have an excellent shot at winning.
The southeast Asian island nation has the world's longest festive season -- and pulls no punches in its celebratory zeal for the period, with lavish light displays, masses, and festivals held throughout the country from September until January.
One of the most populous nations in Asia, the Philippines is an overwhelmingly Christian nation. Approximately 90% of Filipinos are Christian and 80% of those are Catholic, an influence gleaned from the country's period as a Spanish colony from the sixteenth century until the end of the nineteenth.
As a result, while many countries concentrate on the commercial side of Christmas, Filipinos attend several masses throughout the Christmas season and faith forms an intrinsic part of celebrations.