Filipino Christmas traditions

Simbang Gabi is like a Christmas thing. Since the Philippines is predominantly Catholic, Filipinos would all go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and pray and then have big parties where they eat all the food and celebrate Christmas.

Seriously. Lots of food.

Lumpia (like crunchy egg rolls but better), lechon (roasted pig), pancit (noodles), etc. A lot of Filipinos like to have their karaoke machines out too. They love karaoke (I’m guilty of this stereotype as well…).

Here’s our Santa alternative. My mom said they didn’t really do Santa Claus stuff back when she was a kid in the Philippines. They would have the Three Kings instead and put out their shoes for a little money or candy (I think it was sometime in January though). So basically stockings except with shoes.


This set of Christmas traditions shows the universality of a Christmas meal, but also how American the notion of “Santa Claus” is. Religion is more important, which is shown by the use of the Three Kings in his stead, as well as the attendance of church. One parallel is the shoes thing done, which the informant admits to being like stockings.