Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Christmas Eve!

What is Christmas Eve? The Christmas season liturgically begins on Christmas Eve, and is preceded by a four-week fast called Advent. The Mass of the Vigil is said in the late afternoon or early evening hours of December 25th. The Christmastide season continues through until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on the Sunday following the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

Many Roman Catholics and Anglicans traditionally celebrate a midnight Mass (Eucharist) which begins sometime before midnight on Christmas Day; this ceremony, which is held in churches throughout the world, marks the beginning of Christmas Day. A popular joke is to ask what time Midnight Mass starts, but in recent years some churches have scheduled their "Midnight" Mass as early as 7 p.m. In Spanish-speaking areas, the Midnight Mass is sometimes referred to as Misa del Gallo ("Rooster's Mass"). In the Philippines, this custom lasts for nine days, starting on December 16 and continuing daily up to December 24, during which Filipinos attend dawn masses, usually starting at around 4:00-5:00 a.m.

In the Philippines, the predominantly Roman Catholic Christian country in Asia, Christmas Eve is usually celebrated by attending the "Rooster's Mass or Misa del Gallo which is celebrated hours before the clock ticks 12 A.M. signifying the arrival of Christmas Day. After attending church, Filipino families usually hold a feast named Noche Buena to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. A great variety of food is eaten during this feast, an event that usually is done with great preparation. Foods being prepared include the famous lechón, quezo de bola, jamón (Christmas ham), roast chicken (turkey did not gain much popularity in the Philippines), barbecued meats, pancit, among many others. Despite the fact that some families are poor, they still find a way to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ through eating, family time and merry-making.

This is one of the events I miss since I moved here in the US. The celebration in the Philippines is totally different here. I wish they have stuff like that here in America. Well each country has its own way to celebrate the holidays.

No comments :