Giant Lantern Festival
From: Saturday, December 15 2007, 12:00 pm
to: Sunday, December 23 2007, 6:00 pm
Six-metre Parols with kaleidoscopic blinking lights are paraded through the streets of San Fernando at this famous annual festival. The giant star-shaped lanterns travel on trucks accompanied by marching bands, and the whole city comes out to watch.
After midnight mass, there is a presentation ceremony to the maker of the most beautiful parol. In 2006 the competition (16 December at the SM City Amphitheater in Pampanga) is followed by lantern "exhibitions" at the Christmas theme park (yes, really) Paskuhan village (17-20 December) and in front of the City Hall and Sindalan (21-24 December). Please visit the city's website for details of these and other events.
For Filipinos, the parol represents the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men to the newly-born Jesus Christ. The tradition of lighting one is a gesture of shared hope and joy for people all over the country.