All ‘Misa De Gallo’ or “Simbang Gabi” it is

All countries have their culture that they have to follow, or they accustomed or used to do it traditionally. Here in the Philippines we also have many cultures and traditions that we usually followed. Especially Christmas Celebration, for us Filipinos Christmas is even more important than anyone’s birthday. We celebrate it with a unique and family oriented traditions, for us it is the most important holiday in our country. And also one of the facts is that the Philippines is considered to be the country that has the longest celebration of Christmas in Asia. We like to celebrate it for as long as possible. The Catholics here in the Philippines are almost 80 – 90% that’s why Christmas is important for us, we celebrate the birth of our Jesus Christ. We have customs and traditions on how we celebrate this season. First we have to attend a 9 day pre-dawn mass known as ‘Misa De Gallo’ or “Simbang Gabi” it is where we attend 1 hour church mass service that usually begins at 4 am.  “Simbang Gabi” is the way of giving of worship, and thanksgiving. We also have the beliefs if you completed the 9 day church service your wish will be granted. The most important is the Noche Buena, it is the open house and big celebration for Christmas with our loved ones. Most of us have several dishes that normally include in our table like Spaghetti, fruit salad, Fried chicken, Roasted Pig (Lechon), Ham, Cake, rice cakes, Queso De Bola and any other foods and drinks. We celebrate Christmas for us to celebrate and pay respect for god who created us and give us all. But as we all know there are some countries that they actually don’t celebrate Christmas. It is because of their culture, most of the countries that don’t celebrate Christmas is a non – Christian or non – catholic country for example Muslim countries. According to the Pew Research Center, “As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on earth.” But there are 69% of different religions that may or may not celebrate Christmas. These country are Qatar, China, Tunisia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Maldives, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Oman, Vietnam, North Korea, and many more. As we realize most of the country that don’t celebrate Christmas is a Buddhist or Muslim countries, for us Filipinos we are not immoral for celebrating Christmas in our country because of our religion, we believe that we have to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and also those country that don’t celebrate Christmas in not also immoral because they have different God. For example in Muslim, they look up to and pray to their Allah. If you are in the country that have a specific custom and tradition, if you want to do it or not, you have to do it because it is their culture. For example in Maldives, it is one of the most beautiful tourist attraction, but as we all know Maldives is a 99% Muslim country. If you were the tourist you would not find any mentions and marks about Christmas because they have their own beliefs and tradition. Also in Thailand, it is known for a Buddhist country. Most of the population of Christians are in the city of Bangkok, Over 90% of Thai population are Buddhist, but you can see some Christmas decorations at the hotels and other establishments, for other Thai people they know that Dec 25 is where other countries have celebration for them to pay respect others also they have dinner and other specials events. As long as they don’t do something bad about the culture of other country I will conclude that even though we have unique and opposite celebrations of events, beliefs, laws, traditions and cultures as long as we respect one another we will be good as one.  As a human being you have to be understanding and respect all the beliefs in different cultures in other countries.