National Bible Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: January 29, 2024

National Bible Day in the Philippines National Bible Day is a special working holiday in the Philippines. It is observed every last Monday of January to highlight the role of the Bible in spiritual empowerment and encourage the nation to study the holy book.

The Philippines is one of the largest Christian-majority countries in Asia, as well as globally. Christianity first arrived in the archipelago in 1521 with Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer serving the Spanish crown, and his crew. A couple of decades later, Spanish missionaries began to spread Christianity throughout the archipelago.

As a result, almost 90% of the country’s population today is Christian, and about 79% belong to the Catholic Church. The Philippines is one of the two predominantly Catholic nations in East Asia; the other one is East Timor, which used to be a Portuguese colony. Other Christian denominations in the Philippines include Iglesia ni Cristo, Evangelical Christianity, Seventh-day Adventism, Bible Baptist Church, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others.

Although the Constitution of the Philippines guarantees separation of church and state, officially making the Philippines a secular nation, the influence of Christianity on Philippine society is undeniable. The belief in God is something that permeates the lives of most Filipinos; more often than not, they are expected to be baptized and observe major Christian holidays.

Several Catholic holidays are public holidays in the Philippines. They include Holy Week, starting with Maundy Thursday and ending with Easter Monday, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and Christmas Day. It is customary to celebrate these holidays with one’s family, so a lot of Filipinos travel to their hometowns to see their birth families and spend time with them.

In addition, most places in the Philippines have a patron saint and celebrate the saint’s feast day with various events that typically include a colorful procession and special church service, as well as live music and other entertainment. For example, people from towns and cities that venerate St John the Baptist as their patron saint celebrate the feast of his nativity on June 24 by splashing each other with water.

The history of National Bible Day in the Philippines dates back to the 1980s. It was first established in 1982 by President Ferdinand Marcos, who declared the first Sunday of Advent as National Bible Sunday, and the last week of November was to be observed as National Bible Week.

In 1986, President Corazon Aquino moved National Bible Week to January. Finally, President Rodrigo Duterte officially declared the last Monday of January as National Bible Day in December 2018. The inaugural celebration of the new special working holiday took place on January 28, 2019.

National Bible Day events held in the Philippines include special church services, Bible readings and studies, Bible distributions, Bible quizzes, and other activities that aim to get people interested in the Bible in creative ways.

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National Bible Day in the Philippines, holidays in the Philippines, Christianity in the Philippines, religion in the Philippines