December 19, 2011
A Philippine Christmas with the
While twinkling lights, sugar cookies and midnight mass comprise
some of the traditional elements surrounding Christmas celebrations
in the United States, customs differ a bit in other parts of the
“Back in Romania,” said Judit Langa, a nursing major at Mount
Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY, “we went caroling to all of our
neighbors, singing special religious songs about the birth of
Jesus, and exchanged gifts with family and friends.”
On Christmas morning, the Maybrook, NY resident and her family
opened gifts from Santa, sang more songs throughout the day, and
enjoyed Christmas dinner in the afternoon – where the traditional
food served was stuffed cabbage.
In Asia, the Philippines tradition is to have a roasted pig for
Christmas dinner, said Nina Gecosala of Dobbs Ferry, NY, a
Along with pork, the Christmas feast consists of ham, turkey,
flan, lumpia shanghai – an egg roll filled with meat, and
Children play a traditional game – much like musical chairs in
the U.S. -- on Christmas Day, said Gecosala.
“Kids sit in a circle and pass around presents until the music
stops. We open the present we are left with when we freeze,” she
And in Brazil, Christmas is celebrated just like it is in
America, said Newburgh resident Anna Andrianis, a 2011 Mount MBA
graduate. One common tradition is the presépio, or nativity scene.
The word originates from the Hebrew presepium which means the bed
of straw upon which Jesus first slept in Bethlehem.
In addition to welcoming students of various traditions, the
Mount offers several different types of study abroad programs: e.g.
summer in Oxford, England, Segovia, Spain, and Florence, Italy.
Semester or year-long programs offer more opportunities, including
internships and volunteer service.