The question in the minds of many non-Filipino Tweeps across the world is this: Why is “Merry Christmas” trending today Sept. 1, 2010? For the benefit of Twitter users worldwide, blogger Bong Ong tweeted the answer:
The world’s astounded that Merry Christmas is trending. What they should know is that September’s start of Christmas in the Philippines. :))
Yes, folks, the world’s longest Christmas has officially started in the Philippines today, Sept. 1, and we Filipinos expect radio stations to begin playing Christmas carols, and the malls to be donned with Christmas decorations. We would be remiss as Twitter users if we Filipinos would not spread Christmas cheer throughout Twitter also starting today.
Why the extraordinarily long Christmas? Nothing fancy about the reason, except that we equate Christmas to the arrival of the “-ber” months, the months that end with (-ber), which used to herald cold weather (brrr…).
There will be a brief pause to our Christmas celebration, when the nation marks Undas on Nov. 1. But Christmas festivities are expected to resume the next day.
Philippine Christmas goes on high gear starting on Dec. 16 when Catholics start a “novena” of special masses (Misa de Gallo) every day at 3am. On Christmas Eve, there’s the Misa de Aguinaldo at around midnight.
With the long “preparation”, no wonder Christmas Day is the most anticipated, most joyous day in this land of feasts. No feast could rival Christmas in the hearts and minds of Filipinos.
Filipinos grudgingly end Christmas on January 6, the Feast of the Three Kings. That’s the “non-extendible” deadline for exchanging or giving gifts.
So now you know why Merry Christmas is trending today Sept. 1 and maybe at many other instances between now and January 6.
[Follow me on Twitter: @tonyocruz]