Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Misa de Gallo

Photo borrowed here
Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo is the Filipino tradition of nine-day dawn masses that start on December 16. Known in Spanish as the Misa de Gallo (Rooster's Mass), these masses are the most important of all Filipino Christmas traditions.

These nine dawn Masses, which start at four o'clock in the morning, are also considered as a novena by the Catholic and Aglipayan faithfuls. This refers to the
Roman Catholic and Aglipayan practice of performing nine days of private or public devotion to obtain special graces.

In some parishes, the Simbang gabi begins as early as four in the morning. Going to mass this early for nine consecutive days is meant to show the churchgoer's devotion to his faith and heighten anticipation for the Nativity of the Lord. A traditional Filipino belief, however, is that completing the novena is also supposed to mean that God would grant the devotee's special wish or favor.

After hearing Mass, Filipino families partake of traditional Philippine Christmas delicacies, either during breakfast at home or immediately outside the church, where they are sold. Vendors offer a wealth of native delicacies, including bibingka (rice flour and egg based cake, cooked using coals on top and under), puto bumbong (a purple sticky rice delicacy which is steamed in bamboo tubes, with brown sugar and coconut shavings as condiments), salabat (hot ginger tea) and tsokolate (thick Spanish cocoa).

The above article was taken from the site of

For more information about the Philippine's different Christmas traditions, please click here.

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