Cover Pinoy Christmas lanterns (Photo: PASACAT Parol Festival)

Which among these Christmas party must-haves do you enjoy every year?

The Philippines, being a Catholic-dominated country, is known for having the longest Christmas celebration in the world. At the start of September, several families start to put holiday decors such as lanterns and Christmas trees in the corner of their houses. 

Through the years, there are traditions that Filipino families have perpetuated on Christmas eve, Tatler has listed some of the most relatable ones below.

See also: Will Christmas Finally Spark This December?

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Parol or Christmas Lanterns

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Christmas lanterns are in every street (Photo: Camella Homes)
Above Christmas lanterns are in every street (Photo: Camella Homes)

Filipino Christmas ornaments called 'parol' are never gone during the holiday season. It is an unspoken rule that every house or street must have a lantern that flickers through the night. 

For many families, the star of the parol symbolises the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger of baby Jesus.

In Case You Missed It: The Parol: All About This Uniquely Filipino Christmas Decor

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Noche Buena

Lumpia, lechon, queso de bola, and more—these are just some of the food present on every Filipino tabletop during Christmas eve. 

It has also been a Christmas tradition for many families to bond whilst cooking the food or preparing the table.

Related: Ask A Trainer: How Do I Avoid Holiday Weight Gain?

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Filipino noche buena (Photo: Lessandra)
Above Filipino noche buena (Photo: Lessandra)
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Exchange Gifts

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Christmas presents (Photo: Clint Patterson/Unsplash)
Above Christmas presents (Photo: Clint Patterson/Unsplash)

What's a Christmas event without presents? 

Exchanging gifts is the highlight of the night for some Filipino families. This is often done through a series of fun games like "white elephant" and "monito, monita".

Tatler Tip: Everybody gets a little confused with the rules of white elephant, this is why an official website was made to guide the players. 

Read more: Christmas Gift Ideas 2021: Rustan's Celebrates Family This Holiday Season

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Karaoke Party / Talent Show

Filipinos love singing. At Christmas parties, family members flock to the karaoke hub where they pour their hearts out. Sometimes, members who are innately talented with music are asked to play instruments (piano, guitar, cello, and more) as the guests listen.

See Also: 5 Filipino Traditions to Know: Competitive Karaoke, Inuman, and More

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Filipinos love to sing every Christmas (Photo: Kane Reinholdtsen/Unsplash)
Above Filipinos love to sing every Christmas (Photo: Kane Reinholdtsen/Unsplash)
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Christmas Carols

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Filipino Christmas carols (Photo: The Filipino Times)
Above Filipino Christmas carols (Photo: The Filipino Times)

Holiday festivities will never be complete without the delightful Christmas carols being sung at the doorstep of every Filipino household. 

In return, the families would provide Christmas treats such as cupcakes, candies, and whatnot. Some even hand out cash if they really loved the performance.

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Parlour Games

On Christmas eve, younger members of the family are encouraged to join a series of fun games. Winners often receive cool prizes including toys, clothes, and sometimes cash. 

This is often regarded as a fun way to bond and get to know the members of the household more.

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Filipinos are creative when it comes to parlor games (Photo:John Benitez/Unsplash)
Above Filipinos are creative when it comes to parlor games (Photo:John Benitez/Unsplash)
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Round Fruits

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Filipinos put round fruits on the table to prepare for New Year's Eve (Photo: Robson Melo/Unsplash)
Above Filipinos put round fruits on the table to prepare for New Year's Eve (Photo: Robson Melo/Unsplash)

As the family prepares for the upcoming medianoche (New Year's Eve dinner), 12 varieties of round fruits are being put on the table as they are believed to bring good luck and abundance in the years to come. This is also practised in several US and European households

See also: Eco-Friendly Tips For A Sustainable Holiday

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Christmas Cocktails

For the adults, Christmas cocktails give a kind of buzz needed to enjoy the evening better. From cosy toddies, white Russians, to citrusy spritzes, nothing else completes the celebration like the right amount of alcohol. 

More from Tatler: Where To Order Cocktails 2021: Enjoy Happy Hour With Nikkei

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Christmas cocktails are always on table tops (Photo:Dio Septian/Unsplash)
Above Christmas cocktails are always on table tops (Photo:Dio Septian/Unsplash)
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Holiday Music Playlist

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Filipinos prepare holiday playlists (Photo:  David Beale/Unsplash)
Above Filipinos prepare holiday playlists (Photo: David Beale/Unsplash)

Most Filipino families choose to cap the night off with a memorable set of playlists that reminds them of the year's special moment. After all, music has been proven to evoke feelings of happiness and nostalgia. Top of the list will most likely be local icon, Jose Mari Chan.