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Parol - Filipino Christmas Lantern

Updated on October 4, 2015

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Originally made of thin bamboo frames and covered with colored cellophane or with rice paper also known as Japanese paper or papel de Japon.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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If you find this Hub was useful, consider giving it a shoutout, rate it up, bookmark it, share it, or add a comment. Thank you ...

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    • profile image

      R3J 3 years ago

      Can you pls. show how to make parols with straw

    • profile image

      hashee 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Belle Velasquez 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      scarletjonason 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      razzel may 4 years ago

      thaks for help my project

    • profile image

      STEVEN 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      kathniel 4 years ago

      im happy this christmas

    • profile image

      cali lexi 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      yael 5 years ago

      ang ganda ganda lalo na yung guitar

    • profile image

      Samantha 5 years ago

      Hey. Nice tutorials u got there. :))

    • profile image

      person 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Stacy 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Sam 5 years ago

      Cool lanterns.Happy early christmas

    • profile image

      airah03 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      jovelyn oponda 5 years ago

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

      rol

    • profile image

      sophia 5 years ago

      make your life alive

    • profile image

      aresio balibag 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      aprilrose 5 years ago

      nice love it....

    • profile image

      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;)!

    • profile image

      captfaw 5 years ago

      Merry xmas everyone

    • profile image

      Kristine 6 years ago

      nice talaga...

    • profile image

      fermin rabano 6 years ago

      we are selling parol lantern for indoor & outdoor decor, for bulk order pls. call our landline 881-44-91, or email at fermin_rabano@yahoo.com.

    • profile image

      alex 6 years ago

      hello.. do you know how to make parol made of straw?

    • profile image

      pat 6 years ago

      happy christmas

    • profile image

      Francis 6 years ago

      We are selling Capiz Christmas lanterns(Parol) please find us in facebook 'Traditional Capiz' and please like us :D

    • profile image

      KathiV 6 years ago

      As a child growing up in the Philippines, it was alway exciting when the Parol vendors knocked on our door just before Christmas and I was able to choose my lantern. That signaled Christmas was almost here!

    • profile image

      David and Susan 6 years ago

      Looking to import some Parol Christmas Stars to sell on our site and for our Clients.

      Any info would be appreciated.

      David@yourfilipinawife.com

    • profile image

      dante sta ana 6 years ago

      I feel homesick..Merry Christmas.

    • profile image

      chloe 6 years ago

      i love that

      ngayon meron na kong inspiration sa paggawa ng parol

    • profile image

      paul 6 years ago

      lanterns symbolzed filipino chrismas is most happy eversince

    • profile image

      elijah 6 years ago

      nice love it!!! :)))))))

    • profile image

      aar0n 6 years ago

      owstttt awesome..

    • profile image

      andre 6 years ago

      soooooo happy!! we bought our first parol at parramatta today for $280!! quite expensive but sooooooo happy we got one now.. been wanting to get one for years but can't find where to get it till today!

      parol is a filo thing.. and christmas wouldnt be the same without a parol.

    • profile image

      mheanne 6 years ago

      thanks.. this really help wid my pamangkins project...

    • profile image

      efren gavina 6 years ago

      beautiful

    • profile image

      mixgee 7 years ago

      do you know people who make parade float in manila or maybe in luzon? can you please help me?? thanks.!

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 7 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      The "parol" is a huge Christmas tradition in the Philippines. It not only symbolizes the star that guided the 3 kings to Jesus during His birth but it symbolizes the hope for the Filipinos for the New Year.

    • chilario1979 profile image

      chilario1979 7 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      can;t get enough of parols!

    • profile image

      Susanne Yates 7 years ago

      Where can I buy a parol made of capiz shells?

    • Shahanazu profile image

      Shahanazu 7 years ago

      Hey we in Sri Lanka do light up a similar decoration for Vesak (Lord Buddha's birthday). It is made of a bamboo skeleton and tissue paper is pasted on. Vendors sell the bamboo skeletons on streets and familes paste the paper at home, completed ones are also available and it is not uncommon to see these being made at home from scratch.

    • profile image

      Sarah Joyce 7 years ago

      Nice!......Favorite symbol ng cousin k ang stars!........I also like stars especially the bright ones....

    • profile image

      FORD 7 years ago

      nice parol

      lenford CDO

    • profile image

      ibbie 7 years ago

      nice article. brings back memories of childhood :-).

    • profile image

      jonnalyn 7 years ago

      san ko po ba mki2ta ung parol ni mike deluna

    • profile image

      danielle 7 years ago

      asteeeeeeeeeeeg......so beautiful...

    • profile image

      Jojo Munasque 7 years ago

      Hi kababayan,

      thx for the wonderful pictures really love it.

    • profile image

      precious 7 years ago

      we also sell Capiz Parols original from pampanga at very affordable prices, visit us: http://capizparolsforsale.blogspot.com/

    • profile image

      Christian Jay F. Villanueva 7 years ago

      haha well i'm proud of it

      nice! Keep

      on doing i

      and always keep into ur mind that

      nationalism is needed for the country's progress

    • profile image

      aldrin 7 years ago

      how to make a recycle parol

    • profile image

      regilgador  7 years ago

      next time paki post ang paano gawin para makagawa naman kami

    • profile image

      arlene 8 years ago

      Thank you fot the beautiful pictures. I was wondering if there is any articles

    • profile image

      weng 8 years ago

      mas ok ang xmas lantern festival sa Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga, coz watching everything for 20 days is for free. This old custom and tradition have been binding the floridians for almost 60 yrs na. this is the best way Basa can bond with the populace. Visit us from 10 Dec to 31 December and u'll feel how beautiful and friendly the floridians specially BASA People.

    • profile image

      Chi 8 years ago

      Wonder if they could make a parol that the design is the Philippine flag?... :D

    • profile image

      Maria P. 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this very informative site. It really makes you wanna go back and visit the Philippines. I have bought 3 lanterns over the years. It does bring you back, even just in memories. Those Filipinos away from home and could not sleep, always tired, and buying bottled water and want to save in the long run, I have a solution. Go and visit my website: nikken.com/ecowellness (my ID is 844079900- feel free to use them to register.)

    • profile image

      Cc 8 years ago

      Nice!!! Nakaka-miss.

    • profile image

      stargazer 8 years ago

      I'm here in london, I want to buy a lantern made in capiz just like the one featured above, that with holy family. It says its being exported, where can I buy or order one,

    • profile image

      anmheca 8 years ago

      hi very happy

    • profile image

      bungs 8 years ago

      magnda

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi MM, I enjoyed reading your hub and have posted a link in my blog http://ripplemakers.blogspot.com. :) Yes it's the Christmas season and here in the Philippines I now see a lot of parols around. We also placed some in our preschool. I like your photos too.

    • profile image

      sanito 8 years ago

      minsan po iniisip ko at natatanong sa aking sarili ano ang simbolo ng parol. bakit atinutolad sa star?

    • profile image

      Steph 8 years ago

      Pano po gumawa ng parol? yong simpleng star lang. Miss ko na pasko sa Pinas.

      Tsaka san po makakabili ng parol online.

      Pls send me a message. sweetgene09@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      jamet 8 years ago

      i like the diff parol they are amazing

    • profile image

      omar 8 years ago

      it is so simple

    • profile image

      mia 8 years ago

      Can someone teach me how to make the paper tassel for these parols? I have a parol with no tassel.

      miaweaver@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      analyn 8 years ago

      cnu nga ba ang nka imbento ng pag ssabit ng parol sa pasko???????????

    • profile image

      jovy 8 years ago

      pano na nga pala gumawa ng parol na recycle pro mukang sosyyyyyy?????

    • profile image

      evita 8 years ago

      bakit nga ba kailangan ng parol sa x-mas

    • profile image

      Mary  9 years ago

      How can I order to buy one of the parol lantern?

    • profile image

      joy 9 years ago

      pls give me a good reason why do we celebrate christmas? and what is the relation of the word "in excelsis deo" in the parol with the manger?thanks

    • profile image

      kek 9 years ago

      prowd 2 b pinoy!!!!!

      add nyu ko sa friendster at ym ha

      friendster:jk_maybelline

      ym:klexer_jk@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      BEEWHY 9 years ago

      PAANO GUMAWA NG PAROL

    • profile image

      restie alfaro 9 years ago

      Christmas Parol symbolizes hope, that even in difficuly moments, we may not despair but have confidence in ourselves...have faith folks,")

    • profile image

      cherie 9 years ago

      Hi Hub. . . , , (",) goOd dAy! ! ! ! I reAlly lYk Ur Pic2res. . . . I enjOy waTchiNg it. . . Kip uP thE gUd wOrk...

    • profile image

      Daisy Jane 9 years ago

      I like the parol of the philippines, because its so wonderful and full of music...Im so proud of being a filipino.....dito lang sa philippines makikita ang mga magagandang parol.....

    • profile image

      gina 9 years ago

      hi, philippines!! When I see your parol I hope that i can go there in the Philippines this Christmas to see your beautiful parol live!!!! the music is matched with the lantern....... beautiful and creative PAROL!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      noebi 9 years ago

      ang gaganda ng parol mo

    • profile image

      jurie 9 years ago

      hay what a beautiful lanterns

    • profile image

      Sam 9 years ago

      I'm glad to be a FIlipino. No one has ever captured the star as we do! (",)

    • coolestbaby profile image

      coolestbaby 9 years ago

      I like your ideas. Will try to mix with my Christmas decorations, thank you!

    • Paper Money profile image

      Paper Money 10 years ago

      These are beautiful pictures. I was taught how to make them as a kid as well don't think I can remember now though.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image
      Author

      MM Del Rosario 10 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Rmnathan,

      I think a lot of Capiz parol are being exported to different countries, capiz parol are a bit expensive but will last a lifetime. Thanks for your wonderful comment.

    • Rmnathan profile image

      Rmnathan 10 years ago from Sharjah

      Good one. I really like these types of decorations. I know filipinos are creative people. I know many of them here in UAE. I was told, during shopping festivals here items are brought from Pilipines for decoration. Thanks for this hub.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image
      Author

      MM Del Rosario 10 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Glassvisage,

      thanks for dropping by, Parol are really colourful and they add a festive atmosphere, a tradition that we Filipinos have for a long time.

      Hi Patty,

      I am glad you enjoy my hub. thanks for visiting.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from North America

      Nice Hub! I especially enjoy the good pictures.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 10 years ago from Northern California

      What a beautiful decoration/symbol! I love stars and paper lanterns... sounds wonderful :)