In North America, Christmas is short-lived ending on Boxing Day. But our family, Christmas does not end until the arrival of Three Kings. That is a Filipino tradition that we must have learned under the tutelage of Spanish. When it … Continue reading
Christmas ain’t over until the Three Kings came and left you their finest gift. Alas, my niece who is lucky enough to have a direct link to Baby Jesus since here mother is the chosen one of “tiny”. Hmmm… this doesn’t … Continue reading
The Nativity stage is very elaborate at the church I go to. Bit by bit, every week, more figures show up. The children kept on checking when the baby Jesus will appear. When it did on Christmas, the altar was crowded with people. I have to wait for the crowd to subside to take a picture. I must say, every year, I look forward to the Nativity.
Today, The Three Kings are present Melchior, a Persian scholar; Caspar, an Indian scholar; and Balthazar, an Arabian scholar. Each one bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.
When we sang the traditional “We Three Kings” song, it transported me back at a resort in Taba, Egypt. It was a hot day, and I sheltered myself at the corner of the building. In the background, I could hear the pipe music playing this song in October. It felt like Christmas then.
The stage is finally complete.
Apparently, according to Friar musings, there is still one more week of Christmas, and it ends on the Baptism of Jesus Christ. That is news to me and a good one. Good in the sense that my sister canceled The Three Kings party today. Maybe, I can suggest having a party next week to celebrate the Baptism instead.
“The feast of the Epiphany challenges us to be seekers to the wise men were seekers, to search for God and recognize God’s presence wherever and when God chooses to reveal himself. When we discover one way, God is present to us, wonderful! But we need to keep looking, always and everywhere, for other ways, too. Always seeking and searching for God’s presence in the unexpected. ~ Teresa Whalen Lux, Regina, SK.”
Christmas in the Philippines is one thing I miss here in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada. It is the happiest and most awaited celebration. The Philippines is so rich with traditions. The Christmas lanterns, caroling, fireworks will start in mid-December. Noche Buena is what we call it meaning Christmas Eve.
As a child, it’s hard to be patient; can’t wait for Christmas and it just doesn’t come fast enough.
The focus is attending midnight mass, a birthday celebration for Baby Jesus. After this, we go home and have a feast. I mean the feast of traditional Filipino food. The gather is circled around my family and anybody who does not have a family to celebrate with. This is the real meaning of Christmas for me.
There is no Christmas tree, and we do not believe in Santa Clause. What we believe is the Three Kings. Three Kings arrive on the first Sunday of January. That’s the time we received gifts in our family. This was fun. What we did at the eve of Three Kings, we lined up our shoes on the stairs, one pair only for each sibling. When we woke up, run down the stairs, our shoes were filed with candies. We really believed that Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar (names of the three Kings) came bearing gifts. Gifts of candies not Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. This is how we end our Christmas. It’s the longest Christmas celebration ever.
“Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?”
Being with my family, visiting relatives and god parents to pay respect and ask for their blessings are the best gift I received. I couldn’t ask for more. No toys. Sometimes, I received money but it wasn’t important for me. What was important is we give one another our love and faith-based on the birth of Infant Jesus, Mother Mary and Joseph.