MANILA -- The countdown to the grand lantern festival kicks off this Friday, September 10, at a mall in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Robinsons Starmills is set to hold a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m., marking the start of the annual festival. The event will also be streamed live on the mall's Facebook page.
This year's grand lantern festival, dubbed "Sparkling Holiday," will feature a row of massive Christmas lanterns, some reaching up to 20 feet in diameter and with over 10,000 light bulbs.
Festival goers can enjoy the sights from the safety of their vehicles as seven featured barangays of San Fernando showcase their best parol.
QR codes will be assigned to each vehicle for contactless drive-in and parking slots, with Robinsons Starmills assuring that safety protocols will be in place.
The 2021 giant lantern festival nightly display schedule is at 6 p.m. from December 16 to 23, December 25 to 30, and January 1 to 2 at the rear parking area of the mall.
Participating barangays include Sto. Niño, San Juan, San Nicolas, Sta. Lucia, Bulaon, Telabastagan, and Calulut.
Known to the locals as "ligligan parul," the grand lantern festival began in 1904 and has since continued to demonstrate the ingenuity of Filipino lantern-making.
It has been held at Robinsons Starmills for the past 14 years.