- This nine-day novena is also known as misa de gallo, because the masses start as the rooster (“gallo”) crows, a convenient time for farmers and fishermen who wake up at the crack of dawn.
- It started way back in 1587 in Mexico. The friar of the San Agustin Colman convent asked the Pope if the Christmas mass could be held outdoors to accommodate the many people who gathered for it. This practice was eventually brought to the Philippines.
- According to Bishop Vicente Navarra of Bacolod, “[simbang gabi] is a privilege requested by the bishops of the Philippines from the Pope, which is renewed every 50 years.”
- The star-shaped lantern originated from the Mexican piñata and used to light the path to the church during misa de gallo. After mass, the parols were not stored but instead they decorated their owners' homes.
- The nativity tableau takes its name from the Spanish translation of “Bethlehem,” the name of Jesus Christ's birthplace. St. Francis of Assisi was the first to make a belen in 1223 to make the celebration of the midnight mass even more special.
- This term for “monito-monita” and “Secret Santa” originated in Germany – from “Christkindl,” which literally means “Christ child” and eventually became “Kris Kringle” in English.
- Christkindl is an angelic child who gives presents.
Source: Nestlé Club