How do Filipinos celebrate holidays in the Philippines + (MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS)


Too often throughout the busy final weeks of the year, we fail to remember and to take a moment to appreciate the time of year. Bearing this in mind, our family wanted to take the time to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


We really appreciate the relationships we have established with each of you and look forward to continuing that relationship in 2019!

As the only Catholic and first Christian country in Asia, Philippines is not afraid to go overboard when it comes to their Christmas. In the Philippines, it is not Christmas Day, it is Christmas Season – which lasts for about 5 months. It is known that the Philippines has one of the lengthiest Christmas season that commences as soon as we hit the “BER” months. 

For where in the world could one hear Christmas songs in September anyway? And where else in the world could one see shopping centers decorated with flamboyant holiday decors instantly right after All Souls’ Day?
 “The explanation for this lies in the family-centric values of the Filipino society, with Christmas being the time families reunite." 


"It is expected that Filipinos should spend Christmas with their families, often going home to their respective hometowns. With many Filipinos living outside the country as foreign workers or as immigrants, as well as those working in other cities, the long Christmas season is an anticipation of families getting back together. Filipinos take “Home for Christmas” seriously.”
theculturetrip.com 
“The long Christmas season gives Filipinos enough time to prepare on how they will be spending their Christmas vacation, from booking their flights to working overtime to save more money for Christmas gifts. Most of all, the long Christmas sets the mood for giving, charity, and love for one another that will climax on the dinner table during the festive NocheBuena on Christmas Eve.”theculturetrip.com

The Philippines salutes the New Year with loads of noises from firecrackers. It is said that we learned this tradition of using fireworks from the Chinese who believe that loud noise chase away evil spirits. In addition, to make noise, some families could play karaoke or videoke, loud lively music or use pots and pans or blow the “torotot” which comes in various sizes.


 No matter where I am in the world, one thing stays the same: The holiday period is all about family and of course food. 


That said, New Year and Christmas are celebrated with a wee bit differently everywhere I’ve been, and also I enjoy learning about other cultural traditions too, so here I am, sharing to all of you my home country’s tradition during holidays.

1. Simbang Gabi and Misa de Gallo

There are nine evening Masses (known as SimbangGabi) leading up to Christmas Day. The superstitious belief is that, if one completed and attended all those nine evening Masses, you will get a wish granted in the forthcoming year.

Simbang gabi also means puto bumbong or bibingkafor us Filipinos or at least for me and my sisters.

Image courtesy of angsarap.net
Puto bumbong is a type of Filipino purple rice cake which is prepared by steaming ground purple rice mixture inside a bamboo tube. The tube is referred to as “bumbong ng kawayan” in Filipino. This might have been the reason why this was named as such.





 
Image courtesy of kawalingpinoy.com
Bibingka is a type of baked rice cake from the Philippines. It is usually eaten for breakfast, especially during the Christmas season. It is traditionally cooked in clay pots lined with leaves. It is a subtype of kakanin in Philippine cuisine.




2. Nochebuena and Medianoche


As part of Filipinos Christmas and New Year traditions, Filipinos would host afloat gatherings that include feasting on scrumptious  pleasures, together with their relatives, friends and family that indulge in a localmixture of foods like pancit (malabon, bihon,sotanghon, etc), leche flan or also known as caramel custard in the Western world, fruit salad, fresh spring rolls, keso de bola, lechon which is a tasty dish that features a whole-roasted skewed pig cooked over a bunch of flaming charcoals, Christmas ham,putobumbong and bibingka and many more.

3. MONITO MONITA

Image courtesy of 7kenilworth
Christmas is the season of gift giving. In keeping upwith the tradition of gift giving, we have our ownversion of exchanging gifts termed "Monito Monita." This is typically done amongst groups of friends, colleagues, or classmates. The mechanics of this gift giving differs, some can be straightforward by just asking the participants to bring a gift based on andecided amount. Other way, started several weeks ahead of the gift-giving time, which is usually the Christmas party.

Picking a gift that comes from your heart will surely give joy to your Monito or Monita. It is your way of saying Merry Christmas to him or her.

4. AGUINALDO or PAMAMASKO


Christmas day is a very prosperous day for Filipino children. During this time, ninongs (godfathers) and ninangs (godmothers) are anticipated to have Christmas gifts for their inaanak (godchild). This tradition are normally for children (and sometimes adults) going from house to house, or relative to relative, and requesting for presents that also comes as trinkets or money, if your ninangs and ninong are generous. This is still commonly practiced in some families, only they don’t get to go to different houses—they go around the dinner table and ask for gifts from their aunts and uncles.

5. Wearing polka dotted clothes in New Year for good luck


Polka dots signify coins which, in turn, means good fortune. Wearing clothes with these patterns is said to bring money and good fortune to whoever wears it.Anything round or circular is considered lucky during the New Year, which is why there are often plentyballoons around when New Year’s Eve arrives.

6. Circles are just everywhere

The round shape is known to be a symbol of prosperity just like polka dots, as believed by Filipinos and the Chinese alike. This may sound like a broken record but modern Philippines remains home to practice traditions attached to folk credence. For New Year’s in particular, Filipinos like to display 12 round fruits at the dinner table (1 round fruit per month in the upcoming year).
Image courtesy of jackyellis


Whether you’re roaming around the world, or just headed home to spend your holiday period, learning new cultural traditions is a great way to travel the world from the comfort of your own home and get ready for a renewed and dazzling year ahead.


Once more, we wish you a joyful and worldly holiday and much travel, adventure, and success in the coming year!

"Some of the most important conversations I’ve ever had, occurred at my family’s dinner table.” -Bob Ehrlich


Have you tried any of these Filipino Christmas and New Year traditions? I'd love to hear about your experience in and the comments below!

"Family: like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one."



Let's all welcome 2019!

Thank you so much for reading.  Xxx
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Comments

  1. Nice photos. I enjoyed learning about Christmas in the Philippines.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your traditions for the holidays,Your article is so cool.

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  3. I’m not sure if my other post got published. I love hearing about how other cultures celebrate holidays. I heard about the round fruit somewhere else too. I hope this new year is a great one for you.

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  4. I love this ❤️ I am so interested in hearing about other cultures I live in the uae where it’s all Philippines and I do respect them very much, they are nice and sweet. This Christmas 🎄 I had to give them the time to get a small Christmas tree and celebrate it.

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  5. I loved reading this! It looks like you have some wonderful traditions there, and so joyful too! Love the outfits, very chic!

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  6. I never Knew about wearing polka dotted dress on New year for good luck. Something knew I got to know! That's a great list :)

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  7. True that...Christmas is 4month long celebration in Philippines..until 3Kings..I missed puto bumbong after simbang gabi (midnight mass).....

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  8. I can relate, of course! Definitely Filipino here.

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  9. I love learning about how other cultures celebrate Christmas, I definitely like the sound of a Filipino Christmas... not sure about the polka-dot dress on new year though aha

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  10. You seem to have truly enjoyed it !!! Awesome pictures !!! Polka fido are always in Vogue !!!

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  11. I need to come celebrate Christmas with you. This was an awesome post and it was so amazing to read about how different cultures celebrate popular holidays.

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  12. We celebrate the holidays the same way here. At least we do in my family. Happy New Year!

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  13. I love reading about your tradition. Celebration of holidays is best if spent with family.

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  14. I really enjoyed reading about the Filipino tradition! I like the idea of Christmas being a family time :D

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  15. Sounds like a fun way to celebrate the holidays! Plus your photos are amazing!

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  16. This post is an exposure and it teaches about others tradition during festive season.

    Folabest.

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  17. It looks like you celebrate well indeed! Glad you had a fab time! Best wishes for 2019!

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  18. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS! I want to move to the Philippines! I literally LOVE Christmas. If I could start singing Christmas songs in September I would be so super happy!!!!!

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  19. What a lovely celebration! Good luck in 2019!

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  20. Filipino's really have a wonderful holiday's celebration. That is why I always love to go home every Christmas season to celebrate with them and to welcome the new year together.

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  21. Christmas is most fun talaga in our country noh? I've experienced Christmas and New Year in other countries, and although is was fun and meaningful since my family and I were together, the feeling is just different. Truly, no place like home - especially during the holidays.

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  22. 5 months of Christmas?!? That sounds awesome! Loved this post learning how people in the Philippines celebrate Christmas. Sounds like a blast!!

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  23. Happy New Year! I loved reading about your holiday traditions. An extended celebration sounds fantastic!

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  24. Hey Gorgeous ! Happy New Year! I enjoyed seeing all your photos

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  25. i love learning about how other cultures celebrate the holidays and the circle tradition is so unique!

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  26. This is great to know about filipino culture. Festivals are always a window to the best of a country's culture and lifestyle

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  27. This is so cool! I didn't know about Filipino holiday culture but I'm happy to learn–– sounds like an amazing time!!

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  28. I love learning about different cultures. I never would've thought polka dots signified coins. Pretty cool tradition. I might even wear polka dots next year and make sure I have plenty of cires around.

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  29. Wow! 5 months of Xmas season! That's cool! Great to learn about the Filipino customs and traditions.

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  30. Sounds like you guys had a fabulous time! Happy holidays and happy new year.

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  31. I have always been curious about other cultures. The things that is eaten looks good. I would like to try it!

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  32. It is always good to know the other countries Christmas traditions. I spent my Christmas in the Philippines and we really love and enjoy our time with my family companion, the foods are so delicious.

    commented for Angela Ricardo Bethea

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