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“Ber” Month Tradition – Why do Filipinos start celebrating Christmas in September?

“Ber” Month Tradition – Why do Filipinos start celebrating Christmas in September?

Photo | Adobo Magazine

The “Ber” months is approaching!

We Filipinos enjoy celebrations. Festivals, Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, and more! We enjoy celebrations and social gatherings. It embodies the Filipino trait of celebrating happiness, family, faith and love.

The Christmas season is consistently celebrated throughout December and in some locations, a week of November as well. But in the Philippines, four months of festivities give a whole new meaning to the phrase “holiday season.”

The “Ber” Months

In the Philippines, we get excited and joyful as September 1st approaches. It is because the “Ber” months, or the Christmas season, have officially begun in the Philippines. It is claimed to be the world’s coolest and longest Christmas season, spanning from September through the first week of January.

The four months of the year with “ber” at the end of the suffix are referred to as “BER” months. As a result, the “ber” season includes September, October, November, and December.

“Ber” months spirit

When Christmas spirit is in the air, some malls and establishments are giving off an even stronger impression that the holiday season is right around the corner by setting up their Belen, or nativity scene, and playing Christmas music, especially Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas song on the radio.

Filipino households also begin shopping Christmas decorations for their homes and planning gifts for their loved ones and children. Other communities also begin to decorate with the traditional parol. Santa Claus and his reindeer will eventually make an appearance, as well as the decorative Snowman. 

Christmas is celebrated so early because, in the words of the well-known carol, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” and September marks the beginning of the holiday season, as calendars for parades, parties, and concerts other than those featuring Christmas-related music begin to fill up.

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Photo | The Filipino Times

More reason for why we celebrate Christmas so early

For us Filipinos, Christmas is a season of celebration with family, friends, religious ceremonies, and festivals. After a long day at work, we might spend time with our family and friends, go off to Simbang Gabi (Dawn Mass), and then get together outside to eat bibingka and puto bumbong. By celebrating this holiday season, a lot about history and culture are expressed.

Along with these important holiday aspects, we celebrate Christmas early because it provides us a taste of what is to come. Or, to put it another way, by anticipating Christmas during the “Ber” months, we might be more open to new opportunities and a spirit of optimism.

We have hope for a brighter future and faith that God will help us get through the rest of the year.

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