Like the rest in the Philippines, we start hearing Christmas carols when the “ber” months begins. This means September. Note the “Ber.” Then, the Catholic Church marks advent.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “… Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
“With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished
- to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
- thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
- thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01165a.htm
On December 16, tens of thousands start flocking to churches for the nine-day dawn masses until Christmas Eve when the world awaits and greets the birth of Baby Jesus.
However, the celebration does not end on Christmas Day or even on New Year’s Day. The festivities continue until another week-long celebration that culminates on the third Sunday of January. On this day, Cebuanos and their visitors go out into the streets for the Sinulog festival in honor of the Child Jesus or the Santo Niño.
With this said, the Christmas celebration in Cebu is indeed unique.
But let us end this piece with a different note. We would like to ask what Christmas means to you. Please write your response or responses on the comments section below. The best responses will get Christmas and Sinulog giveaways from PRworks!
Celebrating Christmas in Cebu (Honey Jarque Loop, The Freeman)
Stable power situation during Christmas season (Inquirer.net)