Pampanga treats Filipino netizens with online Giant Christmas Lantern Festival

Pampanga Giant Lantern Festival
The Giant Lantern Festival is going virtual this year to bring holiday cheers and hopes to Filipinos in the comfort of their own homes. Photo from Giant Lantern.

The Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, known as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, has gone fully digital this year to keep Filipinos safe amid the coronavirus global pandemic.

Twenty-foot-tall giant Christmas star lanterns handmade by talented Kapampangan craftsmen are showcased in the festival’s annual “Ligligan Parul” exhibition which has become famous for being one of the brightest and most colorful events during holidays in the Philippines and the world.

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Pampanga’s lantern festival is one of the world festivals recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and attracts thousands of visitors and tourists per year.

To ensure public safety and usher in the holiday spirit, the City of San Fernando announced that Filipinos around the world may now attend “Ligligan Parul” festivities through its live-streaming on social media platforms as well as television channel CLTV 36 and other cable partners in Central Luzon on December 16, 2020.

There are seven participating barangays for the Giant Lantern Festival’s 112th celebration of the exhibition namely, Sto. Niño, San Nicolas, San Juan, Sta. Lucia, Bulaon, Calulut, and Telabastagan.

For the first time ever, this year’s Giant Lantern Festival lights-and-sounds show will feature purely Kapampangan music by local songwriters and artists.

The yearly competition of the festival will also be set aside to simply celebrate the exhibit of the handcrafted giant lanterns which serve as beacons of hope and unity to Filipinos during these difficult times.

You can catch the live-streaming of the Giant Lantern Festival this December on CLTV 36’s YouTube channel and Facebook page Giant Lantern, as well as the official accounts of the City of San Fernando Pampanga (CSFP).

The GLF is also part of the upcoming festivals in the “Fiesta Filipinas” online series by the Philippine Department of Tourism and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

To Filipinos, the parol or star lantern is perhaps the most familiar symbol that heralds the Christmas season.

The Parul Sampernandu, a source of Kapampangan pride and tradition since 1908, is the star of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) “Pasko 2020” annual lights-and-sounds show which is now streaming online this holiday season for all Filipinos, wherever they may be.

Last year, Pampanga turned the country’s biggest Ferris wheel into a giant “Parol” – the dazzling handcrafted Christmas lantern symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem.

Tarlac’s Christmas Belen displays that honor frontliners and the world-record breaking Christmas tree tower of sardine cans meanwhile embodied the true giving nature of the holiday.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the parol-making craftsmen of San Fernando, Pampanga, whose creations are being showcased in the online Giant Lantern Festival!

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.