The native Christmas lantern, or the Philippine parol is now lighting up the main hall of the Ethnology Museum in Vienna.
Toni Bosa, consular attache of the Philippine Embassy here told ABS-CBN Europe that the lanterns were shipped all the way from San Fernando City, Pampanga. The parols will be displayed from December 16 to January 6, 2012.
San Fernando City, which boasts of a major Christmas lantern industry and holds an annual Giant Lantern Festival every December, is considered as the country’s parol capital.
The Philippine Embassy is pleased the museum is giving the Philippines an opportunity to showcase the lanterns.
"As a Filipino, I am very proud that we have been given the chance to share not only a glimpse of Philippine Christmas but also the artistry and talent of the Filipino," said Gabriele P., a Filipina who visited the museum.
The Philippine Embassy said many museum visitors were impressed by the lanterns.
Volet Gerstl of the Philippine-European Bulletin is very proud to see lanterns at the historical Ethnology Museum in the heart of Vienna.
"These parols are not only a Christmas symbol, it is a symbol of hope for a lot of Filipinos. They represent the Filipino innovation, creativity and it is the greatest expression of Christmas spirit," Gerstl said.
It is not the first time that the parol has been displayed in Austria.
Last year, parols were one of the main attractions of the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas-Market) in Oberperfuss, Tyrol, located in the western province of Austria.
The Philippine Embassy first introduced the Philippine parol into Viennese Christian traditions in 2006, when it opened a parol exhibit at a prominent Viennese Palmenhaus (tropical greenhouse) in an event that also commemorated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-Austrian diplomatic relations.