TACLOBAN CITY – Nine days before Christmas and in time with the start of the nine early dawn mass also known as “Simbang Gabi,” the local government unit of Arteche in Eastern Samar opened its annual Christmas Festival.

Highlighting this year’s Christmas Festival in the municipality is the “Karan’on Bazaar” and the “Panarit Pastores” ha Belen.”

Karan’on is a Waray term for ‘kakanin’ or local delicacies. The Karan-on ha Pasko Bazaar aims to provide income opportunities and putting to spotlight the local bakers called “paragkaran’on” or kakanin makers and their creations during the Christmas season.

Only 10 participants are given the opportunity to sell their kakanin at the bazaar located outside the town parish with one will be selected as the best karan’on this Dec. 22.

Mayor Roland Boie Evardone said that holding the bazaar does not only provide an opportunity to native delicacy makers but even to the sellers of root crops, coconut, glutinous rice, and other raw materials needed to cook the karan’on.

“This will provide economic activity to Arteche residents because tourism is not only about picture taking but also about giving economic opportunity to the locals,” Mayor Evardone said.

Meanwhile, the Panarit, from the word “sarit” or ask permission— is a song written and sung in Waray that tells about the birth of Jesus and the journey of Joseph and Mary asking permission to seek shelter from houses in Bethlehem until the birth of Jesus.

Pastores ha Belen is a group of locals singing the Panarit at night in every household during the Christmas Season which starts on December 16 until the 22nd of December.