• Yoshika Lowe

Make a Parol (Filipino Christmas Lantern)


Paróls are an integral part of Christmas in the Philippines. These star shaped lanterns adorn shops, homes and schools throughout the Christmas season--which is the longest in the world. For, Christmas is celebrated in the Philippines beginning in September! For Filipinos, making a paról is an expression of faith and hope.

Paról body

10 bamboo sticks* 5 pegs rubber bands glue stick and glue gun cellophane, tissue or washi paper scissors

Tie a pair of bamboo sticks together on one end with rubber bands to form a V shape (1). Make three more pairs. You will have four Vs and two unattached sticks. Lock two Vs together to form an A shape and tie the two ends together with rubber bands (2). Thread one of the single sticks through the center of the A to form a star and tie the two loose ends together with rubber bands (3). Do the same for the other two Vs and remaining stick.

Tie the two stars together in all five points using rubber bands to form a single star (4). Carefully pull apart the center of the frame and place a peg in one corner of the pentagon (5). Place a peg in each of the other four corners (6). Secure each peg with glue using a glue gun (7).

Cut strips of cellophane, tissue paper, or washi paper big enough to cover the individual panels. Glue the strips of paper onto the frame with a glue stick (8). Cut the extra paper around the panel as close as you can to the frame. Clean up the edges by gluing and wrapping the uncut edges of paper around the frame. Continue until all panels are covered with paper (9).

Paról tail

4 1-1/2′ to 2′ square sheets of tissue or washi paper 2 three-inch circular cardboard cutouts 2 three-inch twist ties or strings

Fold into a triangle (1). Then fold again into a smaller triangle (2). Then fold again for the third time into a smaller triangle (3). Take the top corner of the triangle and fold over to the base across (4). Cut across the folded paper (5) starting from one side toward the other without cutting completely. Leave a half-inch space from the edge of the opposite side. Cut another slit one inch above previous slit but start from the opposite side. Again, do not cut completely but leave a half-inch space from the edge. Continue cutting slits starting from alternating sides of the folded paper until you reach two inches below the tip (6). Cut a small hole at the tip.

Carefully unfold and separate the sheets of paper (7). Fasten a short piece of twist tie or string in the center of each cardboard cutout (8). Insert the twist tie through the small hole at the tip of the tail (9). Attach the tails to the star using the twist ties or string.

*Purchasing a Paról kit can be a convenient option for the novice Paról maker.

#Paróls #FilipinoChristmasLantern #Asia

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