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People in the Philippines celebrate Christmas for four months

People in the Philippines celebrate Christmas for four months

If you're a bit of a Scrooge, then the Philippines ain't for you

Do you wish it could be Christmas every day? If so, you might want to consider moving to the Philippines.

It's not quite Christmas every day on the Southeast Asian archipelago, but it is for four months of the year.

While we may celebrate 12 days of Christmas here, they dedicate a third of the year to Christmas in the Philippines.

The Christmassy months are the 'Ber' months - aka September, October, November and December - during which period the country's calendar is chocka with parades, parties and carols.

It's very colourful in the country at this time of year.
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Robert Blancaflor, president of the Manila-based events design company Robert Blancaflor Group, told CNBC: "Christmas is the longest celebrated season in the Philippines and … our country celebrates it the longest globally.

"Can you imagine a whole nation willingly sharing warmth and love ... this long?"

As you ponder the idea of Christmas running all the way through the 'Ber' months, it may just dawn on you that it kind of does feel like that nowadays.

Every year someone complains about spotting an advent calendar in a supermarket a week earlier than the previous year; a Christmas song on the radio in October; a mince pie in November.

Whatever next - may as well start leaving bloody brandy out for Santa in September, AMIRITE?!?!

Indeed, the four-month Christmas fest in the Philippines is apparently a 'recent phenomenon', owed to our old friend commercialisation.

Religion is very important in the country.
Mohd Sarajan / Alamy Stock Photo

"With the proliferation of shopping malls, first in metro Manila which later on mushroomed far into the provinces, Christmas carols started to be heard soon after All Saints Day [on] 1 November," Joven Cuanang, a neurologist and respected art and culture enthusiast in the Philippines, told CNBC.

"This was to attract people to start shopping for Christmas gifts — it was commerce-driven."

The main difference then seems to be that in the Philippines they embrace the never-ending, profit-driven festivities, rather than relentlessly resenting it for half the year.

"Filipinos love to celebrate ... and they want the environment to be colourful," marketing student Pau Escobedo told NPR.

Ah, that will be it then. We're more into commiserations and dreary environments.

Another reason why Crimbo is a big deal in the Philippines is because it is a very Christian country.

What's more, much of the population works abroad, so Christmas marks a time when lots of families are reunited after many months apart.

Featured Image Credit: Yaacov Dagan / Alamy Stock Photo/imagegallery2 / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Christmas