A parol (pronounced: paról with a rolling "r") is a Filipino, Christmas, star-shaped lantern with vividly colored streamers hung inside and out. The word parol comes from the Spanish word for lantern, farol. The roots of the parol are in the Mexican piñata. The piñata originated in Italy, came to Spain in the 1300s, spread to Mexico, and finally came to the Philippines when Spaniards brought Christianity to the islands.

The parol was originally used to light the way to church to attend Misa de Gallo, or "Mass of the Rooster", held on December 16th, the official start of the Christmas season. The parol represents the star of Bethlehem and showcases ingenuity and hope for peace.

Parols are handmade from loca] materials like: capiz (nacre), bamboo sticks, crepe paper, colored rice paper, parts of mussel shells and coconut trees, and candles. They usually feature a tassel, sometimes one at each point. Recently, electric candles light the lanterns, replacing wax candles originally used in earlier centuries.

All through the Christmas season, the lantern can be found hanging outside doors and windows of homes and along the streets of cities and small provincial towns. One of the most spectacular sights can be seen in the city of San Fernando where 20-foot tall paro]s with kaleidescopic blinking lights are paraded through the streets on truckbeds.

Pa*rol" (?), n. [See Parole, the same word.]


A word; an oral utterance.


2. Law

Oral declaration; word of mouth; also, a writing not under seal.



© Webster 1913.

Pa*rol", a.

Given or done by word of mouth; oral; also, given by a writing not under seal; as, parol evidence.

Parol arrest Law, an arrest in pursuance of a verbal order from a magistrate. -- Parol contract Law, any contract not of record or under seal, whether oral or written; a simple contract.

Chitty. Story.


© Webster 1913.

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