Parol making

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What is a Parol?
Keeping the tradition alive in London – Parol Making events
Helping local communities in the Philippines through parol making
Learning how to make a Parol
Resources – Parol kits, downloadable guides and video instructions
Getting involved


What is a Parol

Parols on displayIn the Philippines, the most enduring symbol of Christmas is the parol. The parol ( pronounced as “pæ-‘rɒl”),  is a star shaped lantern with decorative tails. It is traditionally made of bamboo sticks, string and Japanese or crepe paper. These colourful, lit lanterns adorn the streets, shops, schools , churches and homes as early as September to signal the yuletide season.

In the past parol lanterns were made by rural communities to light up paths they followed to their churches to attend dawn Christmas Masses called Simbang Gabi. These days, although the parol has lost much of its religious overtones, it is still considered as a symbol of hope and goodwill for Filipinos at Christmas.

Keeping the tradition alive

Philippine Generations is committed to keeping this beautiful heritage alive by running parol making events in London. Since 2009, we have been teaching people this traditional craft of parol making through our annual event in December and from time to time, deliver the workshops directly in local schools throughout the year.

Our events are not just for Filipinos and are open to anyone who wishes to join and learn about Christmas traditions from other countries. Through the years, apart from working with local Filipino groups, we have also partnered with several local organisations such as Voluntary Action Westminster, St Saviours Church (Pimlico), St Mark’s Church (Marylebone), SW1 Gallery, Whizz-Kidz and Museum of London.

PG Parol events

Our aspiration is to establish parol making as an ongoing tradition here in the capital to express our culture, much like the Diwali festival is to the Hindu community or Chinese New Year to the Chinese. By sharing this tradition with the wider community, not only are we enabling the diaspora community to connect with their Filipino roots, but we also hope this will contribute to the colourful, vibrant and diverse melting pot of cultures that already exists and makes London so unique.

Helping local communities in the Philippines through parol making

 

Philippine Generations has partnered with local community organisations in the Philippines in supporting alternative10151152255220267 livelihood programmes for rural communities or unemployed youth. This helps to generate income to help them with their education and general living.

These programmes train local people to process the raw materials to produce these parol kits that are then bought and s
hipped to the UK, ready for use in the parol events here in London.

 

 

 

Learn How to Make a Parol

There are many ways you can learn how to make this traditional Filipino lantern.

1. Join the annual Parol-making event

Usually first Saturday of December, our event is a perfect prelude to Christmas to make your special ornament in time for the season. Our events has a community feel, with young and old, from different backgrounds, sitting side by side as a community.

It doesn’t matter what your ability is or creativity level, we have a team of lovely volunteers who can coach anyone who wants and needs support, helping participants learn at their own pace. We also have printed guides and videos for those to prefer to learn by reading or watching a step by step instruction.

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Click this image to view this year’s event – Celebrate a Truly Filipino Christmas Tradition

 

2. Do it from your home OR Set up your own Parol-making event

      Click here to read more…

Resources to help you make your own parol:

 

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  1. Parol kits for sale – includes everything you need to create your own parol click here for more info
  2. How to make a parol frame (video) click here
  3. How to decorate your parol (video) click here
  4. How to create decorative tails for the parol (video) click here  (picture guide below)
  5. Guide on how to make a PAPER parol (video) click here  (picture guide below)
  6. Printable template for PAPER parol (printable template) click here to download

click here to downloadclick here

 

Getting Involved

Do you wish to get involved in planning and organising of the annual parol making event? The event is completely volunteer-led, so we are always looking for extra pair of hands and creative minds to help us make this yearly event extra special. We have roles to suit all types of abilities and time availability.
Click here to read about the latest volunteering opportunities

For detailed enquiries about volunteering, you may also contact Ava.

For enquiries about parol events, kits and about community partnerships, please email Sam.

PG Parol event

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