Why Do Pinoys Start Celebrating Christmas in September?
Sep 5, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Sep 5, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pinoy Christmas starts in September. We hold the worldwide unofficial record for the longest celebration of the Christmas season. Even the Mariah Carey, the singer of the Filipino Christmas anthem “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, has known this to be a fact:
🗣️🗣️🗣️ Not yet!!!!
I’ll allow it for my Filipino lambs though! 🐑❤️ (I don’t make the rules! 🤷♀️) https://t.co/qgyHI6lq37
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) September 2, 2023
It’s normal for Pinoys to greet each other a “Merry Christmas” on social media come September 1. It’s also the norm to post Jose Mari Chan memes (a.k.a. Mr. Christmas) throughout the whole year in anticipation for the Ber months (September, October, November, December) like a huge year-long inside joke for Pinoys. But why exactly are we so Christmas-crazy? Why do we start celebrations four months in advance?
Let’s sing Merry Christmas 🥳
It’s official! The Ber Months are here!🌟🌟🌟 pic.twitter.com/5GliKe4HMS
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) August 31, 2023
Pinoy Christmas starting in September could be mainly attributed to the countdowns. Ever since we can remember, local media has always made a big deal about marking the 100th day before Christmas which falls on September 16. The countdown is everywhere on social media and TV news, effectively contributing to the anticipation and prompting Pinoys to celebrate earlier.
Countdowns also help Pinoys “allocate their time” to prepare for Christmas celebrations. “In fact, a 100-day countdown also acts as a secondary motivator and reinforces us Filipinos to complete our Christmas tasks before the big day,” says sociologist, Bro. Clifford Sorita in an interview.
Let’s be honest, Christmas has always been a time for shocking consumerism and consumption. In the Philippines, many brands have long since capitalized on the four-month Christmas celebrations through annual sales to encourage early Christmas shopping. Think of all the 9.9s, 10.10s, 11.11s, and 12.12s you’ve already marked on your calendars!
Instead of being about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, companies have put an emphasis on gifts and feasts. And with many expecting year-end bonuses, it only drives up consumerism.
Aside from Holy Week (which is usually a much more solemn occasion), Christmas is the only extended period of time we get to meet and reunite with our loved ones. Americans have three holidays during the end of the year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. If you factor in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Westerners’ attention and preparation is even more divided into all these big events. In the Philippines, we only get to celebrate Christmas and New Year, so we love giving it our best shot.
it’s Jose Mari Chan season once again,merry christmas y’all 🎅🏻 pic.twitter.com/BNrXNdbKWW
— Kieran Tiu (@imkierantiu) August 31, 2023
The cooler weather of the Ber months (which stretches to February) is the Philippines’ version of winter. When Pinoys feel the temperatures drop from punishing summers, that’s already cause for celebration. Although over these past few years, the weather has been erratic enough (thanks to climate change), Pinoys still stick to tradition.
Why do you think Pinoys celebrate Christmas as early as September? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.
Input your search keywords and press Enter.