New Year happens to be one of the biggest festivals that gets celebrated in Philippines with grandeur and great enthusiasm. Apart from modern trends of social gatherings and parties’ people here also follow almost all the age old traditions and customs that have been prevailing since long.
The New year 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 take that 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.
Sticky rice or malagkit are cooked so that good luck sticks to you all throughout the year and the meal never contains any animal flesh as they are considered to be inauspicious. The meal is served with 12 different fruits where each signify a month, and they are all round shaped which is considered to bring 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.
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 and they 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. At the rural areas, the villagers clang pots and pans to create noise. In the urban areas, whistles are blown, horns of the cars are pumped and other ways of creating noise are adopted during the celebrations.
Houses are cleaned properly to welcome the new year. the inhabitants keep their doors and windows 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 is believed to bring more wealth. Children interestingly believe they can be taller if they jump high at midnight.
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 makes the upcoming New Year to be a Manigong Bagong Taon or Happy New Year.