So, Christmas is just around the corner. The cold breeze is kissing your cheeks, the children on the streets are preparing their Christmas carols, families are planning their festive trips, and everyone is running to malls to spot the perfect Christmas decorations to hang in the four corners of their homes.
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In the season when everybody is busier than on any day of the year, the need to come up with cool gimmicks to make this festive season merrier is crucial more than ever. And what is cooler than putting Christmas lanterns on your holiday home, especially here in the Philippines where Christmas lanterns have been part of the Christmas tradition?
A trip down memory lane: The origin of a Christmas lantern
While many are drawn to adding Christmas lanterns to their decorations alongside more similar ideas that would make their decorations more beautiful to look at, little is known about the history of Christmas lanterns. To make us appreciate the genius and creativity behind a Christmas lantern, let us take a trip down memory lane and see where it all began.
It has been said that the art of making Christmas lanterns, known here in the Philippines as parol-making, started during Spanish colonialism. This is also the point in history when the Spaniards introduced Christianity to the Filipinos.
Hence, the birth of Christmas symbols and decorations like Christmas lanterns are pretty much dedicated and inspired by Christianity. It has been said that Christmas lanterns or parols from the Spanish word Farol, which literally means lantern, are first seen in religious processions known as lubenas. The said religious procession features fish-shaped lanterns along with a cross-shaped lantern that symbolizes Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples. This was commonly seen and practiced during the 1830s.
Then, in 1908, a salt vendor from Bacolor, Pampanga by the name Francisco Estanislao crafted the first giant Christmas lantern or parol. This lantern that he made is a five-point star made out of bamboo strips and papel de Japon (Japanese papers).
He also used a candle to illuminate the lantern. This design has been the traditional parol that Filipino families used to decorate their holiday homes every Christmas season.
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And since this tradition of parol-making has been going on for decades, every year, Filipinos have come up with competitions solely dedicated to creating lanterns. The competitions vary as well, but most of the time, it is commonly hosted by the local government unit of municipalities to encourage the residents to participate and engage in their community and, at the same time, exude creativity in order to preserve the beauty of parol-making. Aside from barangays, the competitions have also extended to schools and universities.
There are also parol-making competitions being held abroad for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). These traditions serve as a sign for many Filipinos to celebrate Christmas much merrier way, especially when there is a cash prize involved, which the entire group can enjoy sharing with one another.
Now that we have appreciated more the history of parols, here is a list of the best Christmas lanterns you can add to your Christmas decorations for your holiday home this festive season:
Origami Paper Christmas Lanterns
If you are into DIY decors, the easiest way to create a unique Christmas lantern is to craft a Christmas-themed lantern made of origami paper. Origami paper lanterns may also serve as a unique theme for your decorations this year.
It is rare to find Christmas decorations with paper-themed ornaments and so if you have bright colors all over your place, origami paper decors and lanterns can tone the said colors down and make your place cozier.
To make it more beautiful, you can also add candles with the warm glow of light inside the lanterns. Doing so will increase the warm, cozy ambiance in your holiday home. This kind of lantern is perfect for placing inside the kitchen or the areas where you want to enjoy a good quality time with friends and guests.
Solar-powered Christmas Lanterns
If you are living in a house where solar panels are installed, take advantage of the system and fill your holiday home with solar-powered Christmas lanterns. These kinds of lanterns are suited for your entryway and sidewalk.
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Make sure to come up with a quirky design for this type of lantern to level up the overall look of your entryway. You may also want to incorporate Christmas music in your solar-powered Christmas lantern to serve as a good welcome asset for your friends and guests who will come over and visit you this festive season.
Just in case you haven’t thought about the ornaments you are going to incorporate into your Christmas tree this year, consider hanging Christmas lanterns as an alternative. Depending on the size of your Christmas tree, hanging Christmas lanterns also varies in size and design.
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The thing with hanging Christmas lanterns is that you can customize them depending on the look you want to achieve for your Christmas tree. Aside from putting it on the Christmas tree, you can also hang these lanterns anywhere inside your holiday homes, such as on the staircase, windowsills, and front door.
This is to add decor to your house, and you may opt to include a dim light to these lanterns so you will no longer have to set them aside after the festive season but let them sit through your entire home for the rest of the year.
Metal Christmas Lanterns
This is probably the most common lantern out there but if you want to make it more extraordinary, make sure that you come up with designs suited for Christmas. You may opt to go for metal Christmas lanterns with hand-painted Santa Claus and reindeer or go for something with a snowflake-shaped design. Metal Christmas lanterns are also perfect for hanging outside your holiday home or being displayed indoors.
Decorating is truly a delightful thing to do, especially if it is during the Christmas season. Everything is bright, colorful, and twinkling and it will not be complete without the traditional Christmas lanterns. Just like how most of us would not want to settle for anything less than what our holiday homes deserve to be dressed up with, you deserve a luxury holiday home to go home to.
Here in the Philippines, Brittany Corporation offers you Brittany Sta. Rosa is situated in one of the finest provinces in the South, which is in Laguna. Brittany Sta. Rosa is a luxury real estate development that gives you a community closer to nature. Luxury houses in here are patterned after American cozy mansions which exude the South American lifestyle. Moreover, this luxury community is equipped with facilities and amenities to ensure your comfort, convenience, and safety.
If you’re looking for a new vacation home where you can make new memories with your family and friends, go home to one of Brittany Sta. Rosa’s luxury houses. You’ll find everything you need for a perfect vacation, like beautiful houses and gardens, a swimming pool, and a tennis court. And if you want to see what the area has to offer, there are plenty of things to do. Brittany Sta. Rosa is a great place to spend time with your family because it offers so much.