‘A coronavirus-free Christmas’: Filipinos begin 100 days countdown to December 25

September 16, 2020 - 11:24 AM
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Christmas tree in Baguio
Baguio City's 23-meter-high Christmas tree beams in the middle of the Rose Garden in Burnham Park. Lit up on cold Saturday night (Dec. 1, 2018), along with fireworks displays, followed by Christmas lights and sounds on Session Road on Sunday night, the giant Christmas tree signals the start of Yuletide festivities in the Philippine Summer Capital. (Photo from Philippine News Agency/Liza T. Agoot)

September 16 officially marks the 100th day before December 25 in the country globally known for celebrating the Yuletide season four months in advance.

The keyword “Christmas” briefly landed on the top spot of local Twitter’s top trending list on Wednesday morning as news outlets, institutions and brands announce the start of the countdown.

Filipinos then expressed their hopes and wishes for this year’s Christmas to be “coronavirus-free” as the country reached its sixth month of quarantine—dubbed the longest lockdown in the pandemic-stricken global community.

“COVID-FREE Christmas. Back to our normal routine,” wrote a Twitter user with a series of praying hands emojis in response to a question posed by ABS-CBN data analyst Edson Guido.

“I LOVE CHRISTMAS… Amidst this pandemic may we all still feel jolly for this season… Let’s feel Christmas despite all the chaos… Hang a parol or two… Let’s (still) celebrate the birth of our Lord,” commented another online user with a series of red heart emojis.

“100 days from now, it’s Christmas. Let that sink in. Pwede ba Christmas gift na po ‘yung pagtatapos ng pandemic? Thanks G! (God),” another Filipino wrote.

“100 days nalang, Christmas na. Matapos na sana pandemic please, gumaling na sana lahat,” wished another Twitter user.

An online user quipped that godparents should now prepare to give their godchildren “face masks,” which has become a norm in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippines is known to celebrate Yuletide season as early as September, the first month in the calendar that ends with “-ber,” which also usually signifies the start of a cooler climate in the country.

Christmas lights and festive decorations could already be seen in houses and establishments during this period while cheery jingles are usually played and could be heard in public places to evoke the holiday spirit.

But sociologist Bro. Clifford Sorita said that such a tradition “is not created by malls” and noted that they “only respond to people’s behaviors.”

“But it’s more than just a marketing stunt. Filipinos supported the extended observance of Christmas because we are really suckers for anything that will allow us to celebrate and spend more time with our loved ones,” he said in a 2017 interview.

“The most simple explanation for the Philippines’ long Christmas season is our psychological framework to count down the days to big celebrations,” Sorita added.

“By knowing exactly how much time we have remaining to complete a task, instead of stressing about it, we will be able to better allocate our time. In fact, a 100-day countdown also acts as a secondary motivator and reinforces us Filipinos to complete our Christmas tasks before the big day,” he continued.

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