Misa de Gallo : Simbang Gabi

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Misa de Gallo : Simbang Gabi
December 16-24, 2013



Misa del Gallo or Missa do Galo (which literally translates to rooster's mass) is the Roman Catholic mass celebrated around midnight of Christmas Eve.

It is also known as “Misa de los Pastores” or “shepherd's mass” in Spanish and “Missa do Galo” in Portuguese.

Simbang Gabi, which means holy mass at night, is the Filipino version of the Misa de Aguinaldo and traditionally begins on December 16 and ends on December 24. The celebration is held at around four o’clock in the morning.Pope Sixtus V ordered the mass be heard before sunrise since it was the harvest season,and the farmers needed to be in the fields right after the celebration.

A well-known belief by Filipinos is that if a parishioner completed all nine days of the Simbang Gabi, and made a wish as part of the novena, it would come true. This centuries-old custom is still popular to this day.

Similar to the Spanish tradition of lighting houses with small oil lamps on Christmas Eve, Filipinos also adorn their homes with colorful star-shaped lanterns called parol. This is believed to help parishioners make their way to church by illuminating the path.

After mass, Filipino families share in various traditional Christmas foods. Bibingka, (rice cake cooked on a clay stove) and puto bumbong (purple-colored rice pastry, seasoned with grated coconut and brown sugar) are two of the most popular of these delicacies while tsokolate (hot chocolate drink made from local cacao beans) and salabat(ginger tea) are sought-after breakfast drinks.

Wild Filipinos flocking to the church by the hundreds, the Simbang Gabi has prompted the Philippine National Police to tighten the security and increase police visibility around churches.(Wikipedia)



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