New Year’s Eve is just a few days away and the whole world will be ringing in the New Year. Different countries have different traditions in welcoming the New Year. New Year is one of the special events in the Philippines aside from Christmas and Easter. It is a joyful holiday filled with fun celebrated with family and friends. Although I’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in a cold, wintery place I’ll be in the company of family and friends. No fireworks but lots of pouring drinks, food and so much fun.
Filipino families have different traditions and beliefs that has been passed on from generation to generation. My mom for one practices a few of the traditions when welcoming the New Year. She wears a long polka dot dress. Round signifies prosperity and fortune. On New Year’s Eve anything served on the dinner table should be round like fruits, poach or sunny side up eggs, embutido, morcon or any other food that’s round. Before midnight my mom passes out coins that were placed in our pockets and as soon as midnight hits we shook our pockets to make noise along with turning on all the lights and opening all the doors. It is believed to bring good fortune. These are a few but there are many more traditions practiced by other people.
It is common for most Filipinos to stay awake and welcome the New Year with a Media Noche which is a midnight meal. But before that, around 9 pm on December 31st you hear fireworks everywhere. As midnight gets closer it turns into a war zone with all the loud explosive fireworks. Fireworks are legal in the Philippines. Unfortunately, some would also fire their guns up in the air. When I was growing up fireworks lasted till about 1 pm. Once it dies down around 12:30am we all ate our midnight meal. Celebration lasted till the wee hours of New Year’s Day, January 1st.
When we were kids, especially as teenagers we looked forward to this celebration. It was a night full of fun, food and drinks with family and very close friends. It never crossed my parents mind that we smoked but New Year’s Eve was a time for us to freely use a cigarette to light up fireworks called “lavintador”. I even pretended that the cigarette smoke bothered me, while inside me I was jumping up and down. Those were the days. What do you expect with teenagers? Those were treasured memories of our childhood days.
Here are Some Food Ideas for Media Noche.
We usually serve anything that is round. It’s been my Mom’s New Years Eve tradition to wear and serve anything round or in a circular serving plate that signifies fortune and money. Noodles is also present at the table for long life. Some of these traditions or beliefs were adapted from the Chinese.
Sunny Side Up Egg
I assume everyone knows how to make this. Sorry, no link. Some people who doesn’t wait for midnight might prepare a sunny side up egg placed on the dinner table.
Pancit Bihon for long life
Seafood Paella served in a circular paellera.
Filipinos love to try different cuisine. For non-traditional food or dessert try serving
Peanutty/Chocolate Milk prepared by my mom is always on the table for Noche Buena and Media Noche.
If you are a non-traditional family you can serve your favorite food and desserts on New Year’s Eve.