Parol is a traditional Filipino Christmas decoration, a five point star-shaped Christmas lantern. Originally made of thin bamboo frames and covered with colored cellophane or with rice paper also known as Japanese paper or papel de Japon. It has two tails that serve as the rays of the star.
Parol reminds the Filipino Christians of the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men on their way in search of Baby Jesus.
Parol as Christmas Street Decorations
During Christmas season, parols are seen everywhere. As early as November, parols are hang on windows or door of every Filipino homes, offices, schools, shopping malls and even streets are adorned with these multi-colored lanterns. You will even find mini parols hanging on buses and jeepneys and cars. Today, parol become more colorful because of the twinkling bulbs in dazzling pattern that help illuminates each parol.
Filipinos used new and recycled materials to make parols, like plastic glasses, candy wrappers, soft drink straws, recycled papers and shells. The present day parol come in different shapes and sizes it doesn't have to be star- shaped, it can be round, rectangular or even square, like a diorama with the Nativity on it.
Parol represents the Filipino innovation, creativity and it is the greatest expression of Christmas spirit. Parol making is a traditional folk craft. School children are taught how to make parol and they usually have a lantern parade to showcase their work.
Parol made from capiz shells
Parol making is not only a Christmas symbol, it is a symbol of hope for lots of Parol makers. Parol making business is a source of income for lots of Filipinos. They make parol as early as June, a lot of them are sold in the market from the month of October. Parol vendors can be found everywhere, you will see them on the side walks, bus stops, jeepney stops or even along the highway.
Parol has become the most recognizable Christmas ornament for Filipinos not just in the Philippines, but in any country where there is a Filipino community. Parol are sold overseas, these are usually made from capiz or shells and are intricately designed, these last long and can be used every year. There are also Parol that are sold online.
Giant Lantern Festival - San Fernando, Pampanga Philippines
The most spectacular exihibition and parade of Parol is held every year in San Fernando Pampanga, famous for the most unique star lanterns in shapes, colors and sizes made from all kinds of material.
The town becomes the center of Christmas activities, every year spectators get to marvel the amazing lights of the giant lanterns. These lanterns were made by the skillful parol makers from Pampanga.
The Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando is the event that the province of Pampanga is most known for. No doubt that is the reason why San Fernando, Pampanga has been dubbed as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines.
The parol uplifts the spirit, instills a sense of pride and hope, it not only brightens Filipino Christmas, but it serves as an inspiration for Filipino ingenuity.
Parol can brighten any place . . .
Photo Credits: Thanks to maryan54 from Webshots.
How to make a Parol Tutorial
- How to Make a Parol
Market Manila's simple and easy steps on how to make a parol, with pictures.
- Manila's Giant Lantern
These lanterns were displayed at Luneta park (2007)
More articles about Christmas in the Philippines
- Christmas Caroling in the Philippines
Caroling is a part of the Filipino Christmas tradition. Once the Dawn Mass known as "Misa de Gallo" or "Simbang Gabi " starts, carolers will be on their feet singing Christmas carols from house to house.
- Monito Monita - Exchange Gifts
Christmas is the season of gift giving. In keeping with the tradition of giving, Filipinos have their own version of exchanging gifts or Kris Kringle, it is called "Monito Monita". This is usually done among schoolmates, workmates or among family and friends.
The Filipino Parol at Sydney Christmas Parade
Philippine Christmas Lantern (Parol) Kumukutikutitap
R3J on February 12, 2014:
Can you pls. show how to make parols with straw
hashee on December 03, 2013:
merry christmas everybody..... may GOD bless us all :)
Belle Velasquez on December 23, 2012:
Nobody beats our 'Parol' in the whole world...!
megan on December 10, 2012:
the best information i could get for my project about how we spend Christmas in the Philippines. TWO BIG THUMBS UP!
scarletjonason on December 05, 2012:
i hope it helps for my competition too........
razzel may on November 26, 2012:
thaks for help my project
STEVEN on November 15, 2012:
I enjoy watching colorful parols...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!
kathniel on November 12, 2012:
im happy this christmas
cali lexi on November 03, 2012:
i wish you could post a procedure of making parol out of chip wrappers
yael on December 08, 2011:
ang ganda ganda lalo na yung guitar
Samantha on November 30, 2011:
Hey. Nice tutorials u got there. :))
person on November 29, 2011:
thanks for helping me on my project! i only wish there was more then one craft. thx again!!!! from person
Stacy on November 24, 2011:
I agree with you Sam these lanterns are cool.And have a Merry Christmas to all
Sam on November 24, 2011:
Cool lanterns.Happy early christmas
airah03 on November 15, 2011:
tnx kasi may idea na ko ..............
jovelyn oponda on November 15, 2011:
i love these parol ngayon alam ko na ang paggawa ng pa
sophia on November 13, 2011:
make your life alive
aresio balibag on November 10, 2011:
wow!! 8's GREAT............
aprilrose on November 08, 2011:
nice love it....
lolalhyn on November 06, 2011:
i love this!!! i juz made a parol made out of straw for my demonstration project for my communication class... awesome!!! i'm hoping to amaze my classmates n professor for wat pinoy talent hav and super creative!!! hehe;)!
captfaw on November 04, 2011:
Merry xmas everyone
Kristine on October 10, 2011:
fermin rabano on October 04, 2011:
we are selling parol lantern for indoor & outdoor decor, for bulk order pls. call our landline 881-44-91, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
alex on September 26, 2011:
hello.. do you know how to make parol made of straw?
pat on September 26, 2011:
Francis on September 10, 2011:
We are selling Capiz Christmas lanterns(Parol) please find us in facebook 'Traditional Capiz' and please like us :D
KathiV on December 20, 2010:
As a child growing up in the Philippines, it was alway exciting when the Parol vendors knocked on our door just before Christmas and I was able to choose my lantern. That signaled Christmas was almost here!
David and Susan on December 18, 2010:
Looking to import some Parol Christmas Stars to sell on our site and for our Clients.
Any info would be appreciated.
dante sta ana on December 15, 2010:
I feel homesick..Merry Christmas.
chloe on December 14, 2010:
i love that
ngayon meron na kong inspiration sa paggawa ng parol
paul on December 07, 2010:
lanterns symbolzed filipino chrismas is most happy eversince
elijah on November 26, 2010:
nice love it!!! :)))))))
aar0n on November 22, 2010:
andre on November 20, 2010:
soooooo happy!! we bought our first parol at parramatta today for $280!! quite expensive but sooooooo happy we got one now.. been wanting to get one for years but can't find where to get it till today!
parol is a filo thing.. and christmas wouldnt be the same without a parol.
mheanne on November 11, 2010:
thanks.. this really help wid my pamangkins project...
efren gavina on November 09, 2010:
mixgee on August 01, 2010:
do you know people who make parade float in manila or maybe in luzon? can you please help me?? thanks.!
adorababy from Syracuse, NY on July 04, 2010:
The "parol" is a huge Christmas tradition in the Philippines. It not only symbolizes the star that guided the 3 kings to Jesus during His birth but it symbolizes the hope for the Filipinos for the New Year.
chilario1979 from Tallahassee, Florida on February 02, 2010:
can;t get enough of parols!
Susanne Yates on January 28, 2010:
Where can I buy a parol made of capiz shells?
Shahanazu on December 16, 2009:
Hey we in Sri Lanka do light up a similar decoration for Vesak (Lord Buddha's birthday). It is made of a bamboo skeleton and tissue paper is pasted on. Vendors sell the bamboo skeletons on streets and familes paste the paper at home, completed ones are also available and it is not uncommon to see these being made at home from scratch.
Sarah Joyce on December 15, 2009:
Nice!......Favorite symbol ng cousin k ang stars!........I also like stars especially the bright ones....
FORD on December 14, 2009:
ibbie on December 12, 2009:
nice article. brings back memories of childhood :-).
jonnalyn on December 09, 2009:
san ko po ba mki2ta ung parol ni mike deluna
danielle on December 05, 2009:
Jojo Munasque on December 02, 2009:
thx for the wonderful pictures really love it.
precious on November 28, 2009:
we also sell Capiz Parols original from pampanga at very affordable prices, visit us: http://capizparolsforsale.blogspot.com/
Christian Jay F. Villanueva on November 23, 2009:
haha well i'm proud of it
on doing i
and always keep into ur mind that
nationalism is needed for the country's progress
aldrin on November 23, 2009:
how to make a recycle parol
regilgador on November 16, 2009:
next time paki post ang paano gawin para makagawa naman kami
arlene on October 03, 2009:
Thank you fot the beautiful pictures. I was wondering if there is any articles
weng on September 07, 2009:
mas ok ang xmas lantern festival sa Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga, coz watching everything for 20 days is for free. This old custom and tradition have been binding the floridians for almost 60 yrs na. this is the best way Basa can bond with the populace. Visit us from 10 Dec to 31 December and u'll feel how beautiful and friendly the floridians specially BASA People.
Chi on August 07, 2009:
Wonder if they could make a parol that the design is the Philippine flag?... :D
Maria P. on December 19, 2008:
I enjoyed this very informative site. It really makes you wanna go back and visit the Philippines. I have bought 3 lanterns over the years. It does bring you back, even just in memories. Those Filipinos away from home and could not sleep, always tired, and buying bottled water and want to save in the long run, I have a solution. Go and visit my website: nikken.com/ecowellness (my ID is 844079900- feel free to use them to register.)
Cc on December 14, 2008:
stargazer on December 11, 2008:
I'm here in london, I want to buy a lantern made in capiz just like the one featured above, that with holy family. It says its being exported, where can I buy or order one,
anmheca on December 08, 2008:
hi very happy
bungs on November 30, 2008:
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on November 27, 2008:
Hi MM, I enjoyed reading your hub and have posted a link in my blog http://ripplemakers.blogspot.com. :) Yes it's the Christmas season and here in the Philippines I now see a lot of parols around. We also placed some in our preschool. I like your photos too.
sanito on November 27, 2008:
minsan po iniisip ko at natatanong sa aking sarili ano ang simbolo ng parol. bakit atinutolad sa star?
Steph on November 26, 2008:
Pano po gumawa ng parol? yong simpleng star lang. Miss ko na pasko sa Pinas.
Tsaka san po makakabili ng parol online.
Pls send me a message. email@example.com
jamet on November 24, 2008:
i like the diff parol they are amazing
omar on November 19, 2008:
it is so simple
mia on November 14, 2008:
Can someone teach me how to make the paper tassel for these parols? I have a parol with no tassel.
analyn on November 07, 2008:
cnu nga ba ang nka imbento ng pag ssabit ng parol sa pasko???????????
jovy on November 06, 2008:
pano na nga pala gumawa ng parol na recycle pro mukang sosyyyyyy?????
evita on November 06, 2008:
bakit nga ba kailangan ng parol sa x-mas
Mary on August 28, 2008:
How can I order to buy one of the parol lantern?
joy on December 13, 2007:
pls give me a good reason why do we celebrate christmas? and what is the relation of the word "in excelsis deo" in the parol with the manger?thanks
kek on December 06, 2007:
prowd 2 b pinoy!!!!!
add nyu ko sa friendster at ym ha
BEEWHY on December 03, 2007:
PAANO GUMAWA NG PAROL
restie alfaro on November 29, 2007:
Christmas Parol symbolizes hope, that even in difficuly moments, we may not despair but have confidence in ourselves...have faith folks,")
cherie on November 26, 2007:
Hi Hub. . . , , (",) goOd dAy! ! ! ! I reAlly lYk Ur Pic2res. . . . I enjOy waTchiNg it. . . Kip uP thE gUd wOrk...
Daisy Jane on November 26, 2007:
I like the parol of the philippines, because its so wonderful and full of music...Im so proud of being a filipino.....dito lang sa philippines makikita ang mga magagandang parol.....
gina on November 24, 2007:
hi, philippines!! When I see your parol I hope that i can go there in the Philippines this Christmas to see your beautiful parol live!!!! the music is matched with the lantern....... beautiful and creative PAROL!!!!!!!!!
noebi on November 19, 2007:
ang gaganda ng parol mo
jurie on November 14, 2007:
hay what a beautiful lanterns
Sam on November 08, 2007:
I'm glad to be a FIlipino. No one has ever captured the star as we do! (",)
coolestbaby on November 05, 2007:
I like your ideas. Will try to mix with my Christmas decorations, thank you!
Paper Money on September 24, 2007:
These are beautiful pictures. I was taught how to make them as a kid as well don't think I can remember now though.
MM Del Rosario (author) from NSW, Australia on September 22, 2007:
I think a lot of Capiz parol are being exported to different countries, capiz parol are a bit expensive but will last a lifetime. Thanks for your wonderful comment.
Rmnathan from Sharjah on September 21, 2007:
Good one. I really like these types of decorations. I know filipinos are creative people. I know many of them here in UAE. I was told, during shopping festivals here items are brought from Pilipines for decoration. Thanks for this hub.
MM Del Rosario (author) from NSW, Australia on September 20, 2007:
thanks for dropping by, Parol are really colourful and they add a festive atmosphere, a tradition that we Filipinos have for a long time.
I am glad you enjoy my hub. thanks for visiting.
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 19, 2007:
Nice Hub! I especially enjoy the good pictures.
glassvisage from Northern California on September 19, 2007:
What a beautiful decoration/symbol! I love stars and paper lanterns... sounds wonderful :)