Friday, December 24, 2010

9 Mornings of Simbang Gabi

Another Simbang Gabi series completed this year! I was afraid every Advent Season that I wouldn't be able to complete it because of all the parties and drinkings I had since I worked but I was challenged every year to be able to finish the whole 9 days! weeee!! ^__^

Our Parish

What is Simbang Gabi? It is a tradition done in the Philippines during Advent season. It is a 9-day novena mass before Christmas Day. It is also called Misa de Gallo way back in the Spanish era meaning "Mass of the Rooster" because it is usually celebrated before the break of dawn.

Why at the break of dawn? Because early Filipinos are usually farmers and most of them won't attend mass if held in the morning because they need to tend to their farms so, Spanish priests moved it before the break of dawn so that more people would get to attend this novena masses. From then on, it has become tradition that this mass be celebrated at around 4am in the morning.

Simbang Gabi Mass Goers

Sacrifice. Yes, that is what we do in order to finish the 9-day masses. We struggle to get up early even after a party or not even sleep at all just to attend this. Most believe that if you finish the 9-day masses you get to have a wish for Christmas. I believe that even if most will say it is not true. It just feels rewarding to think that way, besides, the time I first completed this tradition, all my wishes came true. However, I know that He will still grant my special intentions even if I don't do this. It's just that I still wanted to do something in return for it. 

Well, most of the churches at this time sell food after the mass. The usual bibinka and putobumbong is seen on small stalls outside Churches. Actually, it is best to be paired with hot chocolate but i only see few people selling it. 
Traditional Bibinka
I didn't miss the opportunity of eating bibinka at this season and believe me, you will really feeli like Christmas is near whenever you get to taste real bibinka (they sell small bibinkas in malls bit it doesn't taste like the authentic one).

So it is Christmas eve tonight and I already completed my 9-day sacrifice. I already had my wish and will look forward for it to come true! Hope this Christmas would be great and also the New year that will come!


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