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LOOK: Pampanga’s giant lanterns brighten up Christmas mood in PH

/ 02:08 PM December 19, 2017

10 GIANT LANTERNS. Skillfully-crafted giant lanterns that light up the Filipino Christmas spirit  display their intricate patterns in Pampanga  province on Saturday, December 16, 2017, ahead of the festive holiday. Ten villages in Pampanga joined the 2017 giant lantern competition. (AP Photo/Iya Forbes)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Skillfully-crafted giant lanterns are lighting up the Christmas spirit in the Philippines.

Ten villages in Pampanga province took part in an annual giant lantern competition, proudly showcasing huge elaborate lanterns for everyone to see.

In this photo taken on Saturday, December 16, 2017, a group of lantern makers turn steel cylinders by hand to manipulate the thousands of light bulbs in a single giant lantern in Pampanga province, Philippines.  (AP Photo/Iya Forbes)

Small lanterns called “parols” traditionally decorate Filipino homes during the holiday season. In Pampanga, located on the outskirts of Manila, this tradition is followed on a much grander scale.

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In this photo taken on Saturday, December 16, 2017, a mother and child watch giant lanterns flickering in the night in Pampanga province, Philippines. (AP Photo/Iya Forbes)

Compared to traditional Christmas lanterns that decorate many homes in the Philippines, Pampanga’s awe-inspiring giant lanterns are usually around 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter, holding up to 10,000 light bulbs.

Electricity to power the lights is run through wires attached to large steel cylinders that are turned by hand, in sync with background music. This creates a complex harmonization of lights and sounds, making each giant lantern unique.

In this November 23, 2017, photo, a lantern maker works on the wiring of a giant lantern. (AP Photo/Iya Forbes)

In this November 23, 2017 photo, a lantern maker is seen working through the holes of an unfinished giant lantern in Pampanga province, Philippines. (AP Photo/Iya Forbes)

After hours of fascinating displays of lights and sounds from the 10 competing lanterns, a giant lantern creatively led by Teddy Aguilar took home the championship trophy for the fourth consecutive time.

“I proved that a four-peat is possible,” beamed Aguilar.

It takes almost a year of planning to painstakingly create these giant works of art. After winning the competition, Aguilar says he plans on meeting with his team to develop bigger and better concepts for next year’s event.                 /kga

In this November 23, 2017 photo, a man stands on scaffolding made to easily work on huge giant lanterns measuring 20 feet in diameter in Pampanga province, Philippines. (AP Photo/Iya Forbes)

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TAGS: Christmas, giant, Holidays, Lanterns, Pampanga, Parol, Philippines
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