in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary in anticipation of Christmas.
Simbáng Gabi, which translates to Night Mass, is held from December 16 to December 24 and is usually done as early as 4 or 5 o' clock in the morning. On the last day of the Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, it is called Misa de Gallo, which literally translates to "Rooster's Mass".
The Simbang Gabi originated in the early days of Spanish rule as a practical compromise for farmers who started their day before sunrise to avoid the heat in the fields. Priests began to say Mass in the early mornings instead of the evening novenas more common in the rest of the Hispanic world. This cherished Christmas custom eventually became a distinct feature of Philippine culture and is a symbol of sharing.