Celebrating 4 Months Of Christmas In The Philippines


MANILA, Philippines — The 7,600-island nation of the Philippines — a country known for its warm hospitality and love for celebrations — hosts a unique and extraordinary tradition each year: The longest Christmas celebration in the world. 

Known by Filipinos as the “BER-Months,” the holiday celebrations start as early as September. It is a time when the majority-Catholic nation’s spirit becomes infused with festive energy, setting the stage for a joyous and prolonged Christmas season. Christmas in the Philippines isn’t just a day. In fact, it’s a season that paints the country with festivity and cheer for four months.  

This extended period of celebration has earned the Philippines, a country of 113 million people, the distinction of having the world’s longest Christmas season and the enthusiasm of Filipinos is palpable during this 115-day period leading up to Dec. 25. Joyful greetings — such as “Maligayang Pasko” (Merry Christmas in Tagalog) — echoes through the air. 

READ: Catholic Traditions That Highlight The Christmas Season

One of the most enchanting features of this Filipino Christmas tradition are the dazzling display of lights that adorn cities nationwide. As soon as the “BER-Months” begin, cities come alive with vibrant lights and decorations. It’s called that because the final four months of the year end with the “ber” suffix as in September, October, November and December.

Weekends are typically dedicated to family outings as a way to witness the grandeur of towering Christmas trees and captivating light shows at shopping malls. Fireworks displays are also a common sight, marking the countdown to the much-anticipated month of December. 

Since the Philippines is close to the equator off the South China Sea, it never snows. Therefore, the Christmas season usually sees a slight drop in temperatures. In December, for example, expect temperatures of between 77 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 32 celsius) in most places.

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