Happy New Year Everyone!
The New Years Day is here and it is time for all the streets to be alive with the sounds of Filipinos singing and hundreds of fireworks going off in the roads with no concern for safety at all. There is no doubt that this is a spectacle to witness, but do not be surprised if the New Years midnight deadline seems to be very flexible. Filipino time can make it very confusing. But even though still Philippines New Year is best spent with family.
A few years ago I was at a major live event with bands and TV and Radio on New Years Eve. I watched in amazement as the coverage was done to a ticking down clock and the hosts spent the last two minutes naming as many names as they could for sponsors and dignitaries. Meanwhile the clock ticked on and it even went pass midnight but the need to get the name of sponsors in continued.
The result for this was to let the viewers and the in the park have a delayed New Years celebration. Even worse the mass firework display did not really worked, probably as a result of being delayed. So thousands of people celebrated a damp and poor New Years celebration. Luckily there was plenty of coke to be had as beer was banned. Only in the Philippines.
Be careful too if you are in Davao City as there are no fireworks allowed at all. No firecrackers. Nothing. The mayor is very concerned about safety and apart from people getting hurt by fireworks going astray he also does not want any celebration to be an excuse for any of the infighting to spill on to the streets of Davao. Davao is in Mindanao and is a totally safe place, but times it can be a little boring too.
What do people do?
Many Filipino people unite on New Year’s Eve, which is on December 31, to celebrate a midnight meal known as the Media Noche. It is also common to stay awake to greet the coming of the New Year. New Year’s Day is also characterized by Filipinos lighting fireworks and making a lot of noise to drive away evil spirits. This belief originated from the Chinese.
The elderly encourage children to jump at the stroke of midnight so that they would grow up tall. Many people display 12 circular fruits and wear clothing with polka dots to symbolize money. It is also popular practice to open all the doors and windows at the stroke of midnight to let in the good luck. Many Filipino families also read the Christian bible and attend a church midnight mass. It is common for many Filipinos to blend religion and superstition in celebrating New Year’s Day.