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Easter and Good Friday in PhilippinesEaster and Good Friday in Philippines
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Easter and Good Friday in Philippines

In Philippines, most people follow Catholic faith. Easter and Good Friday in Philippines are very significant holidays. Easter is a popular festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary. Catholic Filipinos are very passionate about the Easter holiday and fully devote their time to it during “Holy Week” which is the week before Easter.

Holy Week in the Philippines

Holy Week is when many people perform holy rites in fulfilment of a vow they made when they asked God a favour, such as a cure for an illness.

  • Kwaresma is Lent. It is the season when Filipinos remember Christ's passion (his suffering and death) and resurrection. It starts on Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter Sunday
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week) is from Palm Sunday to Black Saturday, then Easter Sunday and is the time for serious atonement.
  • Palm Sunday commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Filipino Catholics bring palaspas (palm fronds) to church to be blessed by the priests.
  • The traditional pabasa (the "reading" or chanting of verses about the suffering of Christ) starts on Sunday and ends on Maundy Thursday.
  • Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Christ.
  • Black Saturday is when Christ is entombed. Filipinos spend the day preparing for the night vigil leading up to Easter Sunday.
  • Easter Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ.
Activities of the Philippines during Easter:

The celebration of Easter and Good Friday in the Philippines is much different than how it is celebrated in USA. The Philippines are famous for their uncommon way of celebration and many people from around the world come to see it!

  • During this time, people go to church everyday and Catholics stop eating meat and start eating fish instead and the more devout ones go on a liquid diet all week.
  • Many Filipinos also like re-enacting the event of Jesus’ torture. People do this by whipping their backs, and wearing crowns of thorns during the public celebration. Some even choose to nail their hands and feet to a wooden cross.
  • On Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus, they have ceremonies in the church where they place flower petals on a picture of the Virgin Mary and celebrate how the world has been saved.
Holy Friday Celebration in Philippines

Easter and Good Friday in Philippines is both a religious occasion and a public holiday in the Philippines, where most people follow the Christian faith. Good Friday occurs two days before Easter Sunday. Good Friday is a part of the religious holiday week in the lead up to Easter Sunday in the Philippines.

  • It is a public holiday, commemorated with solemn street processions, and a traditional Passion play called the Senákulo is enacted in some places, which is a week-long affair.
  • In some communities (most famously in the province of Pampanga), the processions include devotees who self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses as expressions of penance.
  • The pabasa or marathon chanting of the Pasyon(the Filipino epic narrative of Christ's, Passion, Death and Resurrection), usually concludes on this day. This is the time when many Filipinos refrain from engaging in worldly activities such as listening to loud music or drinking alcohol. Most Catholics refrain from eating meat during this day and engage in fasting and prayer.
  • On this day, religious figures are seen being carried through the towns on top of carrozas (carriages). The religious images and statues are veiled in black in mourning of the death of Jesus.
  • Many people also attend church services and take part in the Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ or the Station of the Cross. The Station of The Cross depicts the last hours of the Passion of Jesus, and the Filipinos use these stations to meditate on Jesus’ sufferings.
  • Masses (church services) are also held in the church before 3pm (or 15:00) local time since this symbolizes the time that Jesus Christ died on the cross. Once the clock strikes 3pm (15:00), people observe this moment in silence and solemnity.
  • Good Friday is a time when people take part in a form of penance to repent from their sins. Some Filipinos spend time at the beach during the holiday.
Public Life

Government offices, schools and most major establishments such as shopping malls are closed on Good Friday. Public transport is reduced. Holiday destinations such as beaches and hotels are busy with tourists and travellers.

History of Good Friday

The Philippines used to be a pagan country, in which people believed in spirits. When the Spanish came to spread Christianity during the 15th century, many Filipinos were converted to Christianity. The Spaniards made a show of having processions and mass celebrations to entice Filipinos to embrace Christianity. This marked the origins of the Good Friday observance in Philippines.

Symbols

Good Friday is symbolized by the cross, as it commemorates the belief that Jesus Christ suffered and sacrificed his own life to save humanity.

Easter and Good Friday in Philippines are indeed celebrated in a unique way. The most striking feature in the Easter celebration is that Filipinos whip themselves and wear crowns of thorns. Some even choose to nail their hands and feet to a wood to represent the crucifixion of Jesus.

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