Did you had any idea that the Filipino “parol” isn’t just a brilliant Christmas show yet in addition presents rich social and emblematic importance? Go along with me, as I count the many essences of Filipino Parol with its related implications and values.
Known as the guide of the Three Wise Kings, the Star of Bethlehem became one of the icons of Christmas. In the Philippines, the “parol” is a traditional Filipino lantern that twinkles in every street and house during the Christmas season. It is a colorful embellishment of the season.
Usually crafted from bamboo sticks and adorned with colored Japanese paper or similar translucent elements, the parol showcases its distinctive design. The “parol” can be crafted in various shapes and sizes, although typically it looks like a five-pointed star. To make it more attractive, parol-makers put a light bulb inside it giving more luminous glow in different colors. Thus, it makes the Christmas season more exciting with colorful displays that remind the real essence of the celebration.
But has it ever crossed your mind on when “parol” decoration became prominent? Well, it started from the Spanish colonial period. Since the Spaniards introduced to the Filipinos the Catholic religion, they also bestowed displaying “parols” during Christmas. Actually, it has become a very important part of Filipino Christmas celebrations. Competitions in parol-making are also one of the most sought activities. It showcases the creativity and craftsmanship of Filipino artists.
In recent times, the art of parol-making has undergone a transformation, embracing contemporary and complex designs. This evolution involves the integration of novel materials and technologies, all the while upholding the cherished traditional meaning and symbolism. The “parol“continues to stand as a poignant reminder of the Christmas narrative’s significance and the profound cultural legacy of the Filipino people.
The Filipino Parol has a deep religious symbolism as it reminds the real essence of Christmas. It implies the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus. Indeed, it serves as a constant reminder of Jesus’ birth that brightens the world through the proliferation of hope, love and salvation.
The skillful hands and creativity of family members and even the entire community creates and crafts the astonishing and colorful “parol”. Truly, it is a collaborative effort. Serving also as a form of bonding, they come together to cut, to design, to build and to display the lanterns. Through this, it already builds a strong sense of unity, cooperation and friendship emphasizing the importance of relationships and shared traditions.
“Parol’s “intricate design and attractive colors, makes the celebration of Christmas more festive and feistier. Its radiance imparts a cozy and jubilant gleam to residences, avenues, and communal areas, augmenting the festive ambiance of the holiday season.
The “parol” embodies a unique Filipino cultural icon that mirrors the Filipino’s innate creativity, craftsmanship, and artistic talents. By continues production and showcase of “parols”, Filipinos manifest great pride and honor to their cultural heritage. Hence, they contribute to the preservation and promotion of traditions and customs.
The light of a “parol” symbolizes hope. During the darkest and challenging times, its light serves as a reminder that there will always be something to hold on. Also, it serves as a symbol of the guiding light that leads both individuals and communities through challenges, embodying hope, rejuvenation, and the anticipation of brighter days in the future.
The making and displaying of Filipino parol has become a tradition. It has been passed down from generation to generation which implies timeless link of tradition – from past, present and the future. By pursuing this tradition, it is evident that Filipinos are grateful to their ancestors. Also, through this, they were able to contribute in the preservation of their cultural legacy.
The bright lights illuminated by the “parol” brings ecstatic happiness not only to the family members but also to the passersby who are fascinated by its colorful and captivating design. Despite the atrocities brought by the conflicting society, still, its light reflects happiness that bind people amid difference
In its entirety, the Filipino Parol is a symbol with many facets, encompassing religious, cultural, social, and emotional aspects. The “parol” encapsulates the fundamental principles and convictions of the Filipino populace, rendering it a beloved and essential element of their holiday observances and cultural heritage. Its radiant glow and meticulous craftsmanship embody the unifying spirit of the Philippines. More so, it echoes the nation’s resilience amid struggles for it always brings hope amid darkness and hopelessness. Its significance radiates far beyond its physical form. Truly, it is inspiring both Filipinos and the world to embrace the beauty of tradition and the unwavering light of cultural heritage. Christmas season in the Philippines will always be the most colorful celebration filled with sharing, compassion, and love with the twinkling lights of the “parol”.