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Giant Lantern Festival: The Biggest Christmas Extravaganza in the Philippines
oWhile making hubs on Christmas decorations, I partially included the "Giant Lantern Festival" in the Philippines. With Princessa's follow-up HubMob topic this week (Nov.8-14, 2010), I will be able to reveal the 'grandeur and awesomeness' of this widely participated festival in the country.
With or without Santa Claus' reindeer and upgraded sleigh, let me bring you to the historic place called San Fernando, Pampanga, the place of the most-awaited festival during Christmas in the country.
Imagine having a forty-foot lantern as one of the entries or more bigger than that?
Spectators should be careful when looking at the display. That's my advise, folks and it's sensible. Aside from it, you should also be watchful about the lightings or the thousands of bulbs lighting every lantern. And of course the firecrackers and the deafening sounds during Christmas!!!
Christmas capital in the Philippines
Giant Lantern Festival or Ligligan Parul is the tourist atraction of the city every Christmas season.
December in the Philippines
December is the busiest month in the Christian communities all over the world, whatever denomination you belong. Gift-giving, singing Christmas carols, watching giant Christmas tree lights up the center of the city, visiting orphanages or having a soup-kitchen for the less fortunates...what more can we do to really feel the 'spirit of Christmas' that the Lord Almighty told us to do throughout the year?
People are showy, but loving, so Christmas parades can be visible along the main thoroughfares of the famous cities around the world.
One worth-mentioning is our very own Giant Lantern Festival happening the last Saturday before Christmas eve in the Philippines.
The Ligligan Parul, as popularly known among locals in San Fernando has its long, memorable in the annals of country's history.
The making of giant lantern during the inauguration of President Manuel L. Quezon's presidency (Commonwealth regime under American occupation 1904-1944) paved the way to continue the traditian before Christmas eve.
It becomes the obsession of every residents in San Fernando to join the annual contest and win big prizes starting from barangay division up to the grand finale in the city.
I can observe nowadays that parol-making or star-lantern making became synonymous with the local industry in the city.
Although, the industry nearly die during the 1990 Mount Pinatubo eruption that enundated the whole city with lahar, people decided to renew their commitment and rebuilt their businesses, especially parol making.
The rest is history. More and more local tourists and foreign enthusiasts, as well visit the city every year to witness the awesome and spectacular event..that is. Giant Lantern Festival!!!
The making of a giant 'parol'
Making huge entries for the festival pose problems to the city of San Fernando. That's why each entry must have the following protection to avoid the outpour of fire in the vicinity.
The city's fire bureau and the technical committee agreed that all entries should have:
- safety box
- 75 KVA (kilo-voltage/ampere) generator
The power emitting from those entries could light up the whole county or one barangay. With more than 30-40 thousands of light bulbs fitted at the intricate deisgn of one entry, I am sure, you'll be amazed on how they jive with the brass band music emanating from each lantern.
They're so high-tech that even the Guinness Book of World Records staff are intrigued and equally amazed that they visit the city every time the festival is in the offing!
Talked about a 'parol' or lantern as hight as the four-story building or about 40 feet in breadth!!!
Participants are entrants from exclusive barangays of the city (I hope it should be nationwide in the future) that include: San Jose, Dolores, Lourdes, Sto. Rosario, Del Pilar, San Pedro, Sto. Niño. Sta Lucia, and San Nicolas.
The colossal achievement of the city every Christmas can even surpass the excitement of the spectators and the fireworks and music that dazzle tourists frolicking the place at night.