Friday, December 5, 2014

Christimas in the Philippines: Simbang Gabi

Simbang Gabi, Misa de Gallo in Spanish, will start from 16th of December and ends at midnight on 24th of December. A Filipino Christmas tradition, there are a series of nine dawn masses, usually starting as early as 4: 00 AM. It is practised by Catholic and Aglipayans, and with some Evangelical Christian, and the independent Protestant churches have adopted the practice in having pre-Christmas services during dawn.

Filipino celebrated with Midnight Mass and the traditional Noche Buena feast. The family member will dine together at around midnight and would also open their gifts at this time.

It is not only out of dedication, but also thanks to practical. In the 333 years was that Spain ruled the Philippines, it is usual that the Friars and priests celebrate holy mass for the Filipinos living in the barrios.

Simbang Gabi begins so early because of the experience of Filipinos under the Spanish Regime.

Also, local delicacies are readily available for the churchgoers; when they step out of the churches. Latik and Yema candies are sold to children. Biscuits like Uraro, Barquillos, Lengua de Gato and Otap are sold as well. Café Barako or Salabat were the main drinks. Arroz Caldo and Papait soups abound. And the famous Puto bumbong, bibingka, suman and other sweet rice cakes are cooked on the spot under the fiery red coals.

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