Parol Making

A Folk Craft

Making parols is a folk craft. Most Filipino kids have tried their hand at making a parol at one time or another. The most basic parol can be easily constructed with just ten bamboo sticks, paper, and glue. What kind of glue, you might ask? Filipinos commonly use rice! The fun in designing one, in finding the materials, in actually making one and in hanging it up by the window is what most people remember. The thrill that one feels when the lights turn on is also an unforgettable experience. There are fond memories of working with Tatay, Nanay, Ate and Kuya that linger throughout our lives. Standing outside the house in appreciation of one’s creativity is a joyous moment to a parol maker. It would be nice to give every child the opportunity to have the same memorable experiences.

Traditional Parol Colors

The colors used by the church coincide with two cycles of the Christian year: the Christmas Cycle (Advent-Christmas-Epiphany) and the Easter Cycle (Lent-Easter-Pentecost). The color purple represents penitence, fasting and royalty in the Advent and Lent. Purple also represents intelligence or wisdom.

The color white represents purity, light, rejoicing and the Godhead and is used during Christmas, Easter and on festive days. The color green the most abundant color in nature, symbolizes youth and growth, and used after Epiphany and Pentecost. Green is a healing color.

Red symbolizes the Holy Spirit, is used on the Day of Pentecost and at other times when the work of the Holy Spirit is emphasized. It is believed that the color red scares the devil. Blue is the color of hope, is also used during Advent. It is also the color of royalty and of relaxation.

The parol, signifies a guiding light; the light that brings the joy, hope and love. The festival of lights in the Philippines is a spiritual festival; it is a spiritual experience through light.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  (John 8:12)