Christmas season is almost upon us and I've been meaning to attend Pampanga's Giant Lantern Festival for the longest time. Unfortunately work always seems hell bent on destroying my plans and this year's no exception.
So... to compensate for another year of lost opportunity, I guess it would be better that I post the closest thing I'd have to the Giant Lantern Festival which is my Pampanga Starbucks City Mug. Sheesh baduy, right? Well, it's definitely better than nothing haha.
I bought this mug months back during my misadventure at the Candaba Swamp and didn't feel like posting an article about it yet since Christmas was still a long way off. I was also thinking I'd time it with my Giant Lantern Festival post which is actually now non-existent.
I distinctly recall having attended a Giant Lantern Festival during my grade school days years back at the Paskuhan Village in Pampanga. I'm not sure if the current festival is still being hosted there or if it even still exists, but the experience was forever etched on my mind.
I was surprised to find out that Pampanga's Lantern Festival started way way back than I expected it to be.
Originally called "Ligligan Parol", the tradition took root from San Fernando when the province's capitol was transferred from Bacolor in 1904. It started as a procession of lanterns that took place nine days before Christmas with simple two-foot long lanterns made of traditional materials. The lantern designs started getting more and more complex as the years went by until whole barangays started pitching in building just one huge lantern for each barrios.
The introduction of electricity in Pampanga in 1931 started the evolution of the lanterns as larger and more colorful designs were now possible through the use of modern materials. Today's lantern design has an average diameter of 20 feet and is illuminated by lights ranging from 3,500 to 5,000 bulbs.
The Giant Lantern Festival is celebrated on the last Saturday before Christmas of every December and this year's event would take place on December 17 at the Robinsons Starmills Pampanga. For those lucky enough to attend the event, do bring home some photos will you?
Schedule of Activities for 2011 Giant Lantern Festival