Philippines: “Merry Christmas” is top twitter topic

It's just the beginning of September but already “Merry Christmas” and other Yuletide season-related comments are becoming the top twitter trend today. Many around around the world are wondering about the early Twitter Christmas greetings:

jracineui: The President just announced the end to combat operations in Iraq, yet Jessica Alba and ‘Merry Christmas’ are top trends…
Brian_GriffinFG: Twitter: The only place where people celebrate Christmas in August. Merry Christmas everyone.
Lord_Voldemort7: #somewhereintheworld confused people are tweeting Merry Christmas. It'll be a gift if I even let them live until Christmas.
BiebersBusiness: You know the world's gone crazy when Merry Christmas and Sydney Dalton are TT's.

Filipino tweeps explains this in relation to the world's longest Christmas season in the Philippines:

markdariel: 115 days to go before Christmas day here in the Philippines! :)) Merry Christmas to all. Feel the cold breeze of air these “Ber” months! :))
BlauEarth: Merry Christmas☺ September na pala. In the Philippines, it's the start of d Christmas season. I bet you Escueta started playin’ Jingle Bells
briankingkong: The world's astounded that Merry Christmas is trending. What they should know is that September's start of Christmas in the Philippines. :))
aaselma: I guess Filipinos are behind the numero uno trending topic “Merry Christmas” because in the Philippines, Christmas begins in September. :)

GVO Author Tonyo Cruz explains this in more detail:

Yes, folks, the world's longest Christmas has officially started in the Philippines today, Sept. 1, and we Filipinos expect radio stations to begin playing Christmas carols, and the malls to be donned with Christmas decorations. We would be remiss as Twitter users if we Filipinos would not spread Christmas cheer throughout Twitter also starting today.

Why the extraordinarily long Christmas? Nothing fancy about the reason, except that we equate Christmas to the arrival of the “-ber” months, the months that end with (-ber), which used to herald cold weather (brrr…).

There will be a brief pause to our Christmas celebration, when the nation marks Undas on Nov. 1. But Christmas festivities are expected to resume the next day.

Philippine Christmas goes on high gear starting on Dec. 16 when Catholics start a “novena” of special masses (Misa de Gallo) every day at 3am. On Christmas Eve, there's the Misa de Aguinaldo at around midnight.

With the long “preparation”, no wonder Christmas Day is the most anticipated, most joyous day in this land of feasts. No feast could rival Christmas in the hearts and minds of Filipinos.


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