What is the history of Parol
First introduced to the Philippines by the Spanish, the parol (pronounced pah-roll) obtains its name from the Spanish word for the lantern, Farol. The parol was utilized to light the way to the church for Simbang Gabi, likewise referred to as Misa de Gallo or Rooster Mass, a nine-day novena that culminates on Christmas Eve. After mass, households congregate for a big banquet to commemorate the season.
The Parol was initially crafted by craftsmen Francisco Estanislao in 1928, whose production was made from bamboo strips covered with papél de japón (Japanese paper), brightened by a candle. Over the years, parols have evolved from the five-pointed star to more sophisticated brightened capiz shell lanterns you commonly see today.
In the Philippines, the parol has ended up being a renowned sign of the Filipino Christmas and is as essential to Filipinos as the Christmas Tree is to Western cultures. It’s yearly launching on houses and streets is usually in September together with other Christmas signs, indicating the coming of the season. These lanterns stay until January, typically eliminated after Epiphany, to honor the Three Kings and their visit to the infant Jesus.
Online Parol Shop Trivia: Did You know?
Christmas season in the Philippines starts from September through December of every year!