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Easter in the Philippines: An Overview

Updated on July 3, 2011
Let's go EASTER EGG HUNTING!
Let's go EASTER EGG HUNTING!

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.

"Sinakulo" (Via Crusis) or Way of the Cross
"Sinakulo" (Via Crusis) or Way of the Cross
Sunrise on Easter Sunday
Sunrise on Easter Sunday

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.

Longinus, a Roman soldier who stabbed the crucified Christ on the side
Longinus, a Roman soldier who stabbed the crucified Christ on the side
Moriones Festival on Easter Sunday
Moriones Festival on Easter Sunday

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.

Happy Easter!!!
Happy Easter!!!

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.

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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for reminding me how easter is celebrated in the Philippines. Living in Germany for a long time has erased some great memories I had at this season. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      davyfetons 4 years ago

      yous ok lindi sorry mate i`v took so long here is the site and some info , they have 20% discount now, mention davy fets

      gift him out

    • profile image

      martinabanaford 5 years ago

      well grant sorry iv took so long this is the site

      and some info , there very helpful ,say marts recommened you

    • profile image

      Bruce Curran 5 years ago

      I have just 'fully witnessed' the Filipino Easter in all its glory in Barangay Poblacion de Makati in the centre of Manila. I learned a lot about the life and passion and the emotion and fatalism associated with Jesus of Nazareth. I took 250 photos of the 44 Stations of the Cross and the Good Friday Procession ... I now intend to conceive and compile a book titled "Unity through Celebration" ... please email me at beemason1@gmail.com

      it will intend to reflect the 'power of the community' "A Special Interchange between the Scriptures -As an understanding of one's own Inner Self" -if interested I hope to hear from you - God Bless.

    • profile image

      Albert 5 years ago

      Yes even in India the Catholic population is about 6% about 60 Million Catholics all of them observe the Lent even Today where most of the do not drink, Eat Meat, or Ice creams and tasty stuff, Most of the Churchs in India during LENT has Retreats attended my a large no of peoplle and the Way of the Cross on Fridays were all the churchs are packed with people also I must mention that Church attendence on Sundays is Full and all attennd the mass on Sundays, On Holy Week its observed Holy with Moundy Thursday, Good Friday till Easter Sunday all Fast

      and celebrations on Easter Sunday. Catholic in India especially South India which has a good Catholic population observes Lenten Season with holiness. Praise the Lord Jesus Chirst

    • profile image

      iamsocute27 5 years ago

      I love the philipenes

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Oh mhei, it's a pity that in my area there is no Sinakulo during the Lenten season :( We need to go out of town to see one.

    • Gift Philippines profile image

      Gift Philippines 6 years ago from Worldwide

      I love the sparkly eggs! Is that sugar?

      The real nails scare me though..

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Love the Philippines, Love the Filippinos and I LOOOOVE Easter and Christmas in teh Philippines. Thank you for this.... :-)

    • mhei profile image
      Author

      mhei 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hey Prinsesa! We really have the same traditions here, regular programming would resume on Easter Sunday.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

      Hi Lord Seeker!

      It's nice to hear that you've been here in the Philippines and I hope you will enjoy your stay here when you get back.

      Thanks!!! :-)

    • profile image

      Lord Seeker 8 years ago

      Interesting hub, I spent 5 years in the Philippines and well remember the Easter festivities. I am getting ready to return for a visit as a medical missionary next week.Thanks for your hubpage!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      It is amazing how similar are Easter in Peru and Philippines. I guess things have changed now, but when I was a child, Easter was "celebrated" like you mention it, lots of praying, no music, visiting the churches on thursday and we would only eat vegetables or fish as it was forbidden to eat any animal who had been killed. Tv and radios only had religious programmes on Holy Thursday and Holy Friday.

      Great hub. I love to learn about other countries and cultures. Thanks.

    • mhei profile image
      Author

      mhei 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hey diggersstory, thanks and I just loved your models and your hubs!!! :) Such an incredible artist!

    • diggersstory profile image

      diggersstory 8 years ago from #1 Tourist Trap O Town USA

      oh what a great hub! Wonderful Happy easter to you Here's a funny Easter mod I did Enjoy and thumbs up for your hub! http://www.spymac.com/details/?2396395