Parol - Filipino Christmas Lantern

Parol is a traditional Filipino Christmas decoration, a five point star-shaped Christmas lantern.

Originally made of thin bamboo frames and covered with colored cellophane or with rice paper also known as Japanese paper or papel de Japon. It has two tails that serve as the rays of the star.

Parol reminds the Filipino Christians of the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men on their way in search of Baby Jesus.

Parol as Christmas Street Decorations

Parol of various shapes and sizes made of plastic sheet are favourite street Christmas decors around the city.
Parol of various shapes and sizes made of plastic sheet are favourite street Christmas decors around the city.

During Christmas season, parols are seen everywhere. As early as November, parols are hang on windows or door of every Filipino homes, offices, schools, shopping malls and even streets are adorned with these multi-colored lanterns. You will even find mini parols hanging on buses and jeepneys and cars. Today, parol become more colorful because of the twinkling bulbs in dazzling pattern that help illuminates each parol.

Photo Credits: Thanks to maryan54 from Webshots.
Photo Credits: Thanks to maryan54 from Webshots.

Filipinos used new and recycled materials to make parols, like plastic glasses, candy wrappers, soft drink straws, recycled papers and shells. The present day parol come in different shapes and sizes it doesn't have to be star- shaped, it can be round, rectangular or even square, like a diorama with the Nativity on it.

Parol represents the Filipino innovation, creativity and it is the greatest expression of Christmas spirit. Parol making is a traditional folk craft. School children are taught how to make parol and they usually have a lantern parade to showcase their work.

Parol made from capiz shells

Elegant Christmas Parol made from capiz shells are very popular in the Philippines and are exported to other countries.
Elegant Christmas Parol made from capiz shells are very popular in the Philippines and are exported to other countries.

Parol making is not only a Christmas symbol, it is a symbol of hope for lots of Parol makers. Parol making business is a source of income for lots of Filipinos. They make parol as early as June, a lot of them are sold in the market from the month of October. Parol vendors can be found everywhere, you will see them on the side walks, bus stops, jeepney stops or even along the highway.

Parol has become the most recognizable Christmas ornament for Filipinos not just in the Philippines, but in any country where there is a Filipino community. Parol are sold overseas, these are usually made from capiz or shells and are intricately designed, these last long and can be used every year. There are also Parol that are sold online.

Giant Lantern Festival - San Fernando, Pampanga Philippines

The most spectacular exihibition and parade of Parol is held every year in San Fernando Pampanga, famous for the most unique star lanterns in shapes, colors and sizes made from all kinds of material.

The town becomes the center of Christmas activities, every year spectators get to marvel the amazing lights of the giant lanterns. These lanterns were made by the skillful parol makers from Pampanga.

The Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando is the event that the province of Pampanga is most known for. No doubt that is the reason why San Fernando, Pampanga has been dubbed as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines.

The parol uplifts the spirit, instills a sense of pride and hope, it not only brightens Filipino Christmas, but it serves as an inspiration for Filipino ingenuity.


Parol can brighten any place . . .

Source: maryan54 from Webshots.
Source: maryan54 from Webshots.

Photo Credits: Thanks to maryan54 from Webshots.

How to make a Parol Tutorial

Photo by : MM del Rosario
Photo by : MM del Rosario
Photo by MM del Rosario
Photo by MM del Rosario

More articles about Christmas in the Philippines

  • Christmas Caroling in the Philippines

    Caroling is a part of the Filipino Christmas tradition. Once the Dawn Mass known as "Misa de Gallo" or "Simbang Gabi " starts, carolers will be on their feet singing Christmas carols from house to house.

  • Monito Monita - Exchange Gifts

    Christmas is the season of gift giving. In keeping with the tradition of giving, Filipinos have their own version of exchanging gifts or Kris Kringle, it is called "Monito Monita". This is usually done among schoolmates, workmates  or among family and friends.  


The Filipino Parol at Sydney Christmas Parade

Bayanihan Dancers dancing with the parol.
Bayanihan Dancers dancing with the parol. | Source
The Philippines' Float during the 2007 Sydney Christmas Parade.
The Philippines' Float during the 2007 Sydney Christmas Parade. | Source
Source

Philippine Christmas Lantern (Parol) Kumukutikutitap

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Comments 86 comments

R3J 2 years ago

Can you pls. show how to make parols with straw


hashee 3 years ago

merry christmas everybody..... may GOD bless us all :)


Belle Velasquez 3 years ago

Nobody beats our 'Parol' in the whole world...!


megan 4 years ago

the best information i could get for my project about how we spend Christmas in the Philippines. TWO BIG THUMBS UP!


scarletjonason 4 years ago

i hope it helps for my competition too........


razzel may 4 years ago

thaks for help my project


STEVEN 4 years ago

I enjoy watching colorful parols...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!


kathniel 4 years ago

im happy this christmas


cali lexi 4 years ago

i wish you could post a procedure of making parol out of chip wrappers


yael 5 years ago

ang ganda ganda lalo na yung guitar


Samantha 5 years ago

Hey. Nice tutorials u got there. :))


person 5 years ago

thanks for helping me on my project! i only wish there was more then one craft. thx again!!!! from person


Stacy 5 years ago

I agree with you Sam these lanterns are cool.And have a Merry Christmas to all


Sam 5 years ago

Cool lanterns.Happy early christmas


airah03 5 years ago

tnx kasi may idea na ko ..............


jovelyn oponda 5 years ago

i love these parol ngayon alam ko na ang paggawa ng pa

rol


sophia 5 years ago

make your life alive


aresio balibag 5 years ago

wow!! 8's GREAT............


aprilrose 5 years ago

nice love it....


lolalhyn 5 years ago

i love this!!! i juz made a parol made out of straw for my demonstration project for my communication class... awesome!!! i'm hoping to amaze my classmates n professor for wat pinoy talent hav and super creative!!! hehe;)!


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