Feast of the Three Kings caps long Christmas season in Philippines

  • Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

The Feast of the Three Kings, or the Feast of the Epiphany, is celebrated as a big event among Filipino Catholics every January 6. A time of feasting, visiting, and gift-giving, it officially marks the end of the Christmas celebration in the Philippines before the start of school days for students after a long Christmas vacation. The celebration of Epiphany is also known in the Philippines as Pasko ng Matatanda, the Feast of the Elderly, to honor the senior citizens.

In Santa Maria Bulacan, particularly in Barangay San Vicente and Barangay Buenavista, before Mass on January 6, three men dressed as the Three Kings, each wearing royal robes and riding a horse in lieu of a camel, parade around town to the church. Along the way, they distribute gifts to children who line the streets eagerly awaiting their arrival and the little presents the Three Kings bring with them. Mass follows, after which parents, children, siblings, relatives, grandchildren, god-parents and friends exchange gifts. Each house is open to welcome visitors who want to taste the food and wine prepared for the day. There is merriment everywhere, and the celebration typically lasts for the whole day.

See how the Feast of the Three Kings is celebrated in Mabitac, Laguna.