New Year celebration in the Philippines is quite unique. It happens to be one of the biggest festivals that are celebrated with grandeur and great enthusiasm. It is also celebrated with old custom traditions and beliefs as Filipinos are known to be superstitious.
The New Year’s Eve or the Bisperas ng Bagong Taon paves the way for the New Year with great food and drink with people enjoying with family and friends. Special meals are prepared and all the members of the family par take together as that’s considered to be auspicious and lucky for the year to come. The menu is decided with good luck charms in mind. Pancit or noodles are prepared for long life, whereas eggs are eaten as a symbol of new life and bico or malagkit or sticky rice are cooked so that good luck sticks to you through the year. Lechon or roasted whole pig is being prepared, and other delectable recipes are cooked, it is a belief to avoid serving dishes with fish and chicken as they are believed to be scourge foods and Filipinos do not want to live scourged life throughout the year.
The meal also includes lots of sweets, as they are believed to bring sweetness among the family members throughout the year. The 12 different round shaped fruits where each signifies the months of the year is considered to bring good luck and fortune to all. The family members offer prayers after dinner.
The midnight mass or the Media Noche is an age old and important customs followed in the New Year by the people in Philippines. They strongly believe that this mass will bring and retain good luck throughout the year by driving all evil forces away from their life forever.
Houses are cleaned properly to welcome the New Year. The inhabitants keep their doors, windows and all lights are open as the clock strikes 12 so that good fortune can enter and evil goes away. A weird but followed customs as the Filipinos is to wear polka-dots dress during the New Year as round shapes signify prosperity and happiness. They fill their pockets with round coins that are believed to bring more wealth. Children interestingly believe they can be taller if they jump high at midnight.
The New Year in Philippines is celebrated with lots of noise and sound as it drives away all evil spirits from our life and creates space for good ones. Fireworks of different types are common sights and they have a special name called Filipino Paputok are done so that good fortune and happiness comes with a guarantee in the New Year. At home people dance and play loud music for the same reason. Others clang pots and pans to create noise. Whistles are blown, horns of the cars are pumped and other ways of creating noise are adopted during the celebrations.
It is a tradition to greet and wish every member of the family as the New Year knocks at the door. Children show immense respect to the elders of the family. The good wishes of the peers and the blessings of the elders surely make the upcoming New Year to be a Manigong Bagong Taon or Happy New Year.