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Saturday, December 25, 2004
In various provinces of the Philippines, there are
numerous strange but true Christmas Day beliefs and

Silent Night.
Loud talking is forbidden in Northern barrios of Samar
from midnight on December 24th until 2a.m. on Christmas
Day. People whisper so as "not to awaken the sleeping
newborn Baby Jesus" No noise, Please!!

Don't Wash Away The Blessings.
According to the people of the small barrio of Decabo
in Busuanga, Mindoro, it is rude and unwise to take a
bath on December 25 as it might "wash away" the blessings
that the Christ child bestows on His birthday.

Stretch and Grow Taller.
For some short Capizenos for whom Christmas Day and
Easter Sunday (also called Pascua) are similarly important,
stretching in bed is encouraged upon waking up on these two
mornings in order to grow miraculously taller.

Don't Swat A Fly.
To swat a fly or a mosquito is all right but not on
Christmas Day in Barrio Bontol, Antique. Don't step on
ants or kill any other insects. Such acts will bring bad
luck to the community. For their yuletide fare -- fish or
fowl, pig opr cow must be slaughtered the day before.

Food "To Go".
On Christmas Day Eve at around 9 o'clock, the barrio folk
of Garcia Hernandez, Pampanga deispatch their womenfolk
carrying empty baskets from house to house for "manghimaja"--
to ask for food to take back to their Noche Buena. At each
house visited, a male elder stands waiting with a big
pot of his family's specialty dish for tumatapat -- to give
a portion to every woman who comes around with a basket.

Nearing midnight, with baskets now brimming with food,
the women return to their respective homes in time to prepare
their table fo the midnight repast.

Each household, therefore, is able to enjoy a dozen or so
different dishes on their Christmas table. This is a charming
cutom of bayanihan (community sharing).

Healing Rain.
The elders of the coastal barrio of Macala, Bulan, Sorsogon,
put out empty pails and cans from midnight of December 24
to midnight of December 25 to catch the first raindrops,
believed to be miraculous and healing. People from Bicol
who sahre this belief thus pray for rain on Christmas Day.
(In the Philippines, it seldom rain in December).

Lucky Baby
A baby born on Christmas Day is considered very lucky not only
for the family, but also for the entire barrio in Cabigtian,Bohol.
Folks visit and bring gifts for the newborn, even they are
strangers to the family. They believe that this will bring
them luck as well.

In Aborlon, Palawan, folks even serenade the newborn with
Christmas carols. The Christmas bay is given two gifts --
one for the birthday and another for Christmas. (To economize by
having just one present is considered foolish as this may bring
meager luck to the giver.)

The Early-Bird's Reward.
In some town in Iloilo and Capiz, people believe that rising very
early in the morning on Christmas Day will attract wealth.
Farmers in Matangule, Palawan and Nabasagan, Burias Island
which lies between Masbate and Albay, go a step further by
planting rootcrops very early on Christmas morning to ensure abundant
harvests in the future.

New Shoes.
For some people of Pagsanjan, Laguna, it is important
to buy new shoes for Christmas. Wearing new shoes shows respect
for the Child Jesus. It is also believe that the person will
be lucky and will "Go places". The new pair, however,
must be worn on Christmas Mass!

(Abstracted from PILIPINAS 2.0 MAGAZINE)

posted by infraternam meam @ 4:18 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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