The Countdown to Christmas Begins

The Philippines observes the longest Christmas season in the world.

The country of the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, and it observes the longest Christmas season in the entire globe.

The official start of the observance of the Christian holiday begins on December 16 with the start of the Midnight or Dawn Mass known as SimBang Gabi. The final day of observance is on the Sunday following the New Year’s Day for the Epiphany. However, in the last two years, the Catholic Church has mandated the season end of the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, which is held on the Monday following the Epiphany.

In the country, Christmas in September begins with bazaars for the intrepid Christmas shoppers. Websites like FitzvillaFuerte.com has listed 15 Chrismas bazaars that are now taking place in the Metro Manila and cities around the main metro area. There are, as always, more than expected and the many different opportunities to shop are likely to boost the overall consumer spending totals in the country throughout the end of the year.

By the end of November and through December 8, the Culture Center of the Philippines will be presenting Edna Vida-Froilan’s ballet based on a Christmas Tale that will be sure to draw in both locals and vacationers. Of course, the ballet will have to compete with the Giant Lantern Festival which draws in many of tourists and locals alike.

All of this will have to somehow pull in consumer spending numbers while there is an armed conflict occurring in Zamboanga. It also must handle the pork-barrel scam in Panatag Shoal that shock the country. Still, such conflicts are something that can almost be overlooked thanks to the festivities and happy nature that comes with the holiday season.

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