Traditional Parol

The traditional parol is based on the 5-pointed star lantern that is made with bamboo sticks and colored rice paper, more commonly called papel de Japon (Japanese paper). The sizes of the earliest parols during the Spanish times were no more than two feet in diameter, for a big parol would have been awkward to carry at simbang gabi (morning mass) on a dark December morning. In the middle of the parol, there would be a platform for placing one or more candles, and at least two sides were left open for lighting or replacing the candle or coconut-oil lamp that illuminates the parol.