This section is meant to be used as an educational resource for teachers, parents, and students. The activities can be designed so students could work individually or collaboratively with peers. We have included materials that are suitable for a wide range of ages. Here we provide a downloadable coloring book, planning guide, design and decorating ideas.
When you make a parol, you go through a process called design. Depending on class age and size, one could formulate a group project or an individual project. There are unlimited possibilities on how to approach your design. An interesting thing about design is that it brings new and exciting things to mind. If you already have designed and made things before, then that method is a good starting point. Consider the old ways but don't get stuck with them. Here, you will have a chance to think of new ways of doing old things.
Begin by discussing the project. Ask certain questions that can be answered by your parol. Here are some guiding questions:
- What is a parol?
- What does the word "parol" mean to you?
- Why should you build one?
- Should each person make his/her own parol, or should we do it in groups?
- Is there a significance of my choice or combination of colors?
- Should you make a parol of single color, of multiple colors like red/white/blue, or a full rainbow of colors?
- What message do you want to convey?
- Do you have a Christian message to include in a parol?
- What is an offering?
- Can you get inspiration from passages in the Holy Bible?
- What symbols can I incorporate to convey my message?
- What is you motif? (A motif provides a dominant or distinctive feature of your parol. You might want to consider native, modern, eclectic, high-tech, abstract, classical, etc. You might want a simple, yet elegant design. There is beauty in simplicity.)
- What other objects or materials can you incorporate in your design, so that it really brings out the message that you want to convey? (Here, you can be very creative in finding materials that people would not expect to find inside or outside the parol.)
- How can I make my parol very attractive? (Think of methods that can
make your parol pleasing to the eye through beauty and charm. Avoid what is called "burloloy", the Filipino slang for trinkets or ornaments that do not match the motif, which tends to make the design look over-decorated and cluttered. But remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.)
In decorating, know the available resources which you can convert into art. Start with a simple design that has a clear message. Layout the materials that you intend to use and then work your way through until your design is finished.
The tassels are ornaments that hang from the tips of the parol. You can make a variety of designs that match your motif. Tassels can be made of rope, paper, fabric or other materials that are elongated. You can also make tassels by using strings, or by stringing various materials to form beads. Here are some ideas about tassels.
A symbol is an object or image that represents something else. The symbol is sometimes used interchangeably with the word "emblem," which is a special design or a visible mark. We use symbols to illustrate or emphasize certain messages. The star is considered the emblem of Christ, who is "the bright and morning star" and used to illustrate Christmas, which is the birth of the infant Jesus, and the Epiphany, which is the feast that commemorates the adoration of Jesus by the three wise men or magi from the East.
Light, or an image that depicts a ray of light, symbolizes the Presence of God, the Holy Spirit, or the Pillar of Flames that guided the Israelites in their journey through the desert. The tassels on the parols symbolize the rays of light that guided the three wise men.
Geometric shapes like the three interconnected circles that also form an equilateral triangle, symbolizes the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.
Learn more about many other Christian symbols and their meanings.