Philippine Pasko Festival

Things to do, Fairs and festivals Free
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 (Photograph: Supplied / Bronnie Barnett)
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Time Out says

Start the silly season early with Sydney’s Filipino community at this colourful two-day Christmas festival

Thanks to all the amazing Filipino restaurants in the city, Sydneysiders from all backgrounds are likely to have experienced the deliciousness that is Filipino food. But what you probably don’t know about this Southeast Asian archipelagic nation is that its predominantly Catholic population is bonkers for Christmas. They start caroling and putting up twinkling lights from as early as September and keep ’em shining until the Feast of the Santo Niño, on the third Sunday of January.

So, it’s understandable that the Philippine Pasko Festival (‘Pasko’ meaning ‘Christmas’ in Filipino) is held in Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park well before standard stocking-filling days on November 9-10. This festive occasion will bring traditional Filipino music, dance performances and food stalls to the harbourside spot from 10am-9pm each day. And you can bet the menu will feature lechon (a crisp, charcoal-roasted pork belly), adobo (a vinegary, soy sauce-marinated chicken or pork dish) and the fine ice shavings of sweetened beans, coconut gel and ube ice cream in halo halo.

The other star of the show is the popular Christmas lantern contest. The comp is only open to people of Filipino descent, and the task is to create a lantern or ‘parol’ which embodies Filipino culture and Christmas spirit. There is a hefty rule book about sizes, designs and the registration process which you should consult when you register for the contest.

While the lantern competition rules are stringent, this spring event promises to be very merry, and all of Sydney is invited to join in the colourful celebration.

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