Many are asking why the Philippines has the longest Christmas celebrations?
The Christmas season begins on September 1st, marking the start of the so-called “BER months” – more than three months before Christmas.
Christmas songs begin to play on the radio and in malls, airline holiday promotions begin to appear, invites from friends and family to get together and eat out begin to arrive, and Christmas trees, balls, and lights begin to occupy every department store’s racks — virtually overnight.
We grew up with this custom, but where did it all begin? Who said we can begin celebrating Christmas in September?
Is there a specific historical event that established this tradition? Or was it something that was done in Filipino homes even before there were Jose Mari Chan and Mariah Carey memes announcing September 1st on social media? We’ve always been festive, and we love getting together as a family to enjoy a great array of food on the table.
Is Christmas in September thus merely a commercial strategic move? Is this a tradition developed by malls and ham and quezo de bola manufacturers?
Malls did not start this custom. Malls and brands can only react to people’s actions.
Malls appear to have a significant impact on the longer Christmas celebrations in the Philippines. It stands to reason that these retailers would profit on the trend in order to stimulate demand for toys and other gift goods that consumers frequently purchase during the holiday season.
But it’s more than simply a marketing gimmick. Filipinos backed the prolonged Christmas celebration because we are fans for anything that allows us to enjoy and spend more time with our loved ones.
So, what exactly is the significance of this long-standing custom? The answer, it turns out, is within us.
The most realistic explanation for the Philippines’ extended Christmas season is our psychological framework for counting down the days until great celebrations. The countdown to Christmas begins on September 16th, but Filipinos like to start celebrating early.
We will be able to better spend our time if we know how much time we have left to finish a task rather than stressing over it. A 100-day countdown, in fact, serves as a second motivator and reaffirms our Filipinos’ commitment to completing our Christmas activities before the big day.
Our minds are trained to view the months leading up to Christmas as an opportunity to buy gifts, decorate the Christmas tree and other decorations, arrange the Noche Buena, and plan Christmas parties.
We use this opportunity to reconnect with family, friends, and coworkers we haven’t seen in a long time over wonderful cuisine, much like our forefathers did. This is most likely why this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.
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