Christmas carols playing before Thanksgiving? Advertising on the heels of Halloween? If you're someone who complains about the Christmas season starting too early every year, then you probably wouldn’t like the holiday in the Philippines. It’s considered the world’s longest Christmas season: celebrations begin at the start of September and continue until January.
The overwhelmingly Catholic country loves the “Ber” months -- September, October, November, and December -- which are packed with parades, parties and music of the season. The entire country is decked out in colorful displays, but one of the biggest highlights of the season is the more than $30 billion USD in remittances sent back home to family by the 2.3 million Filipinos living and working overseas.
Christmas in the Philippines:
- Expats even have an unofficial Christmas carol: A ballad called Sa Araw Ng Pasko ("On the Day of Christmas") tugs at the hearts of workers abroad longing to be home for the holiday season.
- Christmas celebrations typically last until either the Feast of the Three Kings (Epiphany) on January 6, the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9, or the Feast of the Santo Niño on the third Sunday in January.
- During the Christmas season. merchants all over the island nation sell thousands of pigs a day, for about $150 each, for the classic roast pork dish lechon. The pig’s head alone goes for $50, displayed proudly on holiday tables.