Every country has their own traditional Christmas decorations that define who they are and what they believe in. The Philippines also has their own décor that never goes out of style, no matter how many years have passed. The Parol is a tradition décor but it is more than just a decoration because the 5-point star means more to the Filipinos than just an ordinary Christmas decorations.
The Parol is symbol of hope for many Filipinos and a reminder of what happened in Bethlehem. Since Filipinos are religious, then Christmas is not just a holiday but also a celebration of the birth of Jesus and the Parol is one of the symbols of it. So, it is common to see one in every home in the Philippines no matter how small or big the house one can see a Parol hanging on the wall, window or part of the house.
The typical Parol is made of thin bamboo and framed into a star. It is also covered with red, green, white or yellow cellophane or rice paper. Some people also use papel de japon or Japanese paper, and depending on the size, there is a light bulb inside, so that Parol will shine at night, like the star of Bethlehem.
As early as September, many vendors would start selling Parol and other Christmas decorations. But most homes would start decorating after the all souls days or Halloween. You can definitely see parols on offices, shopping malls, side streets, buildings and other establishments. Actually, some buses and Jeepneys would also hang a small Parol inside, as a reminder that Christmas is near.
By the way, Filipinos also make Parol using recycled materials out of candy wrappers, plastic glasses, papers, shells and soft drinks. It also comes in different sizes and design with nativity and diorama. The Parol also shaped into round, square and rectangle, wherein the star is inside.
Parol making is a good business during Christmas seasons as many Filipinos would buy one every year. If you want to see different and intricate Parol design of different sizes then attending the exhibit or parade in San Fernando Pampanga, will definitely let you see all sorts of parol design. The event is called “The Giant Lantern Festival” a much-awaited event in the province.
If you are a Filipino, there is no doubt that you will also have a Parol in your home as a Christmas decorations.