SM Lanang Premier longest Christmas in the world
The longest Christmas in the world is alive at SM Lanang Premier in Davao City, Philippines.

Filipinos are proud to claim that they have the longest Christmas in the world. At the start of the months ending in ‘ber’, mothers start rummaging through boxes for all things Christmas. Trees, twinkling lights, angel figurines and baubles begin to adorn homes. Carols begin to play on the radio and pipe-in music in shopping malls.

As early as September, malls and other commercial establishments start building their belen or crèches depicting the Nativity scene. Businesses set these up life-sized or even larger than life in building facades, parks and manicured gardens. When night comes, cities turn into Christmas villages with all the lights, lanterns and other decor that adorn every house and building.

Here’s Adie by the Sanrio-themed Christmas tree at SM City Davao a few years ago.

Filipino Christmas Traditions

The Spanish influenced most Filipino Christmas traditions. Their three-century rule over the islands left an indelible mark on the local culture. But while these traditions live up to this day, Filipinos have placed their own indelible trademarks to make them authentic and uniquely Pinoy.

The longest Christmas in the world starts in September and extends well into January, up until the feast of the Three Kings. Filipinos like to extend the celebrations because they want to prolong the festive vibe. Christmas is a time for Filipinos to set aside their personal problems and give in to the spirit of giving and sharing.

For Filipinos living and working abroad, Christmas is a very emotional yet happy season. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) start preparing for the longest Christmas in the world by assembling Balikbayan Boxes. These boxes contain everything from perfumes and makeup, gadgets and shoes to chocolates and toys. They send these boxes to their families in the Philippines. When they arrive, it’s as if Santa Claus dumped all his presents in one home.

Balikbayan Boxes © ruelo on flickr

The Christmas in the Philippines ebook will describe the age-old traditions Filipinos practice to this day. Some of these practices are evident not only in the Philippines, but also in countries where European influences are present. The ebook discussed some of the most popular and cherished Christmas traditions in the Philippines. Download it for free now!