In the Philippines, there are regular holidays and special holidays. The Philippines Calendar contains the following main holidays:
The year in Philippines begins with the New Year on the 1st of January. In the local language, this is known as Araw ng Bagong Taon.New Year is a popular holiday in this country and it is observed by the Philippines’ majority who are Christians.
The next major holiday after New Year is Maundy Thursday which is celebrated on 5 April of the year. They call it “Huwebes Santo” in the local language. This holiday forms a part of the Holy Week (Mahal na Araw in the Tagalog language or Semana Santa in the Spanish language) which runs for four days. This is a version of the local Easter Holidays which remembers the biblical “Last Supper” events on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Good Friday known as Biyernes Santo is celebrated on 6 April as part of Mahal na Araw.It commemorates the day when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross.
Day of Valour
The “Day of Valour” known as Araw ng Kagitingan which is not part of the Easter celebrations, comes on the 9th of April. This day remembers the fall of Bataan and Corregidor during the invasion of the Philippines by Japan in the Second World War. American soldiers and Filipino soldiers joined forces to fight the Japanese.
Labor Day also known as Araw ng mga Manggagawa is the next holiday after Araw ng Kagitingan.It is celebrated on 1 May. This is a day for workers. On this day, the contribution of workers to the economy and their hard is acknowledged. Workers’ rights are a common topic of discussion during this day.
The Philippines Independence Day also known as Araw ng Kalayaan is celebrated on 12 June. On this day, the independence of the country as a sovereign state and the freedom that the country enjoys is celebrated. The country declared Independence on 12 June 1898 under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo.
Month of Ramadan
The next holiday is the Islamic Eid’l Fitr also known as Pagwawakas ng Ramadan which celebrates the popular month of Ramadan observed in many Islamic countries around the world. Ramadan, observed on 20 August in the Philippines is a month of fasting (abstaining from solid food for several days to achieve spiritual closeness to Allah).The Philippines is a country with diverse people and religions living together in harmony. Although the country is largely Christian, it allows for observance of Islamic holidays in the calendar.
National Heroes Day
After the month of Ramadan, comes the National Heroes Day also known as Araw ng mga Bayani, which is celebrated on 27 August. On this day, all the historical heroes are commemorated. The Philippine Revolution, which began in 1896 under the leadership of Supremo Andres Bonifacio is remembered on this day.
Eidul Adha also known as Pista ng Pagsasakripisyo is the next Muslim holiday of the year. This is celebrated on 26 October to mark the end of Hajj. On this day, the poor in the community are remembered by offering a feast and donations in the form of cattle, goats, sheep or camels. Hajj is a Muslim name for the pilgrimage to Mecca.
The next holiday after Eidul Adha is Bonifacio Day also known as Kaarawan ni Bonifacio.This holiday is celebrated on 30 November to commemorate the birth of Andres Bonifacio.Andres Bonifacio is a local historical hero who was born on 30 November in 1863.He was executed by the government on 10 May 1897.General Emilio Aguinaldo ordered the execution of Bonifacio because of what transpired at the Tejeros Convention, where Bonifacio was seen as a traitor.
Like most Christian countries, the Philippines observes Christmas Day also known as Araw ng Pasko in the local language. Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the Philippines in that its preparations start as early as September. Even after 25 December, the celebrations continue after the New Year .While people in other countries will go to work in the first week of January, the Christmas holidays drag on up to the last week of January in the Philippines.
Rizal Day also known as Araw ng Kabayanihan ni is the last holiday of the year on the Philippines Calendar. Celebrated on 30 December, this holiday commemorates the death of Jose Rizal, who was executed by the Spanish colonialists on 30 December 1896.
NB: You should note Special holidays and other local observances have not been included in this article.