Easter in the Philippines: An Overview
Lenten Season in the Philippines:What's behind those EASTER EGGS?
Being a God-observing country, Philippines observe Lenten season religiously. This will start on Ash Wednesday that paternized the lunar calendar of Romans to be followed by Palm Sunday, then what we call THE HOLY WEEK, with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and will end on Easter Sunday.
It was said that we celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon or the first vernal equinox(day and night sharing equal length). This was agreed upon by the church leaders of Nicea(325 A.D.), thus, this day can be either from March 22nd till April25th.
Behind that modernized way of celebrating Easter with the usual bunny and the famous egg hunting, Filipinos rejoice in this glorious day to commemmorate the Ressurection of Jesus Christ and how He saved us from our sins. And since it has been long knowned what Christ went through, and what He did, People all across the country celebrate it as solemnly as possible.
How Filipinos Celebrate Easter
Festivity will start on Palm Sunday when everyone goes to church with palm leaves and listen to the mass and prepare for a week long celebration after. Then come Monday until Wednesday, we go to the office, do our regular chores, but in a more prim manner. Loud music is out of the question, drinking and going to bars- DEFINITELY a no-no... This is the time to reflect and to do fasting.This is the perfect time to forgive and forget.
On Maundy Thursday, Filipinos will attend the mass and pray together as we remembered the day Christ started suffering for our sins. Catholics observe the Station of the Cross, and it has been their tradition to visit as many churches as they can by walking. Others will just be in their respective homes as they sing Pasyon (Passion).
Good Friday is when you can see Penitensya (Penitents) who reneact how Jesus was nailed in the Cross, wherein these people would also put barbed wires as their crowns, walks down the streets carrying that cross that weights a ton.
On Black Saturday when Jesus is still dead, Filipinos still continue with the fasting to somehow suffer for what He did for us.
And as soon as sunrise hits on Easter Sunday, Filipinos go to church together, and celebrate as Christ has risen from death. The birth of NEW LIFE, so we rejoice in that Day and we have somehow adopted westernized culture, we now have Easter EGG hunting on this memorable day.
OTHER WAYS OF CELEBRATING EASTER FOR FILIPINOS
One of the most festive ways of celebrating Easter is those of the natives from the Marinduque Island, located on the Southern part of the Philippines. The Moriones Festival, and event similar to Mardi Gras wherein town people gather and wear Roman medieval masks and costumes similar tothose worn by Roman legionaries.
This is a re-enactment of the story of Longinus from the Gospel of St John. Longinus, a Roman soldier who was blind in one eye who pierced the side of the crucified Jesus. He regained his sight when miraculously, blood that squirted from the side of Jesus dropped on his eye. The play will conclude with Longinus being beheaded.
Unlike the typical Sinakulo, Moriones Festival is the contemporary way of remembering How Jesus was crucified, as this is being celebrated by wearing bright painted costumes of different color, indeed one of the most sought after event in the country.
BOOKS ON EASTER-PINOY WAY
Modern Way of Celebrating Easter
Let us not remove the fact that nowadays, Easter has also become a justification for Filipinos to celebrate by partying. After the long holy week is over, after being done with repenting, after fasting for the entire week, without eating meat, no liquor (not one bit), not even a stick of cigar, no blaring rock and roll music, Filipinos makes this an excuse to have fiesta or to have some sort of a family gathering.
Well, I know that this is one of those occasions(A long one at that) where we could be with our love-ones, since most private and government companies are closed. This is also one of the best times to reflect with family to have a retreat, go out of town and spend time with your family while remembering what Jesus Christ did for all of us.