The nine (9) days before Christmas has officially started last Thursday, 15 December 2011.
Traditionally, simbang gabi is celebrated during the early morning nine (9) days before christmas eve. The mass starts around 4 or 4:30 in the morning. But since we are here in Abu Dhabi, Simbang Gabi is celebrated on the evenings. The mass starts at 8:00 pm but if you want to grab a good seat you have to be at the church at 7:00 pm. The open ground of the church is full packed and stampede is likely to happen if anything bad happens. The cold weather is perfect with the venue.
More vendors are selling food goodies outside and a lot of kids ran and shout while the mass is going on. But this is what a Filipino community is all about.
I miss simbang Gabi in the Philippines, but I won't trade this opportunity of attending my first Simbang Gabi here either. My first Abu Dhabi simbang gabi is also my first simbang gabi with my husband and first away from my family. A mix of happiness and sadness, I guess we have just have to add another chapter on our life journey - this is how we grow.