Monday, December 28, 2009

Maligayang Bagong Taon!





New Year's eve celebration in the Philippines is quite different compared to other countries. We literally start the year with a bang!

Just a few days before New Year's eve, you will see lots of vendors selling different kinds of firecrakers. Actually, despite of the yearly ban on firecrackers (because of a number of accidents caused by firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices that have resulted in the loss of lives, limbs and properties), still many Filipinos see lighting of firecrackers as the traditional means to greet and celebrate the New Year eve.

December 31 is usually an unofficial public holiday in the Philippines, so we can prepare for the New Year eve celebration. It is a busy day for all families, me included, as I prepare food for the media noche. Most people are rushing in to buy firecrackers in preparation for the night celebration.

This is the time of the year when children have a good time blowing their plastic toy trumpets we called “torotot”. We create as much noise as possible to drive away bad spirit. Trumpets come in different shapes and sizes, colors and designs. I prefer this than buying fire crackers.

Children also enjoy stamping on their "watusi" - a kind of small firecracker that when rubbed against a rough surface and released, crackles into a little sparkwork.

At the strike of 12:00 midnight, the noise becomes defeaning, churchbells rings and firecrackers rules the sky. Adults and kids alike stood gaping in awe as we see the different firecrackers, blooming in the sky. The banging and booming rise to a climax which includes clanging of old pots and pans, jeeps, cars or motorcycle blowing their horns, ambulance sirens for full one minute at the countdown to New Year.

The loud noises and sounds of merrymaking are not only meant to celebrate the coming of the New Year but are also supposed to drive away bad spirits.

Around 12:15 am, the noise stops and the air is filled with human voices and the family starts to eat a thanksgiving feast called Media Noche, it is believe that we should put as much food on the table so that next year we will have food all year round. Twelve round fruits should be on the table as it is a sign of prosperity for the next twelve months. There is also a midnight mass celebration to welcome the New Year and to thank God for all His blessings.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Boom! Bang! Kabloom!

10 comments:

Angry American said...

In New York city, NY they have the biggest celebration in the US. Idiots and retards from all over travel to get frost bite in the sometimes sub-zero temps to watch fireworks after the giant lit up ball drops (as far as I know all mine dropped too) at midnight.

I'll stay inside where it's nice and warm and watch it on tv TYVM. :D

Tracey said...

What do you do if you have a headache?!....Happy New Year Odette!
xxxxxxx

Odette said...

Tracey,
Simple, I take pain reliever!!!
my posts come few and far between because i happen to have no working pc at home.
i even told Ray, its unthinkable that i only posted 8 blogs for December. and he says "that's a good thing!"
i'll shout your name on new years eve and hope it reaches you, ok?
get well, and keep warm!
hugs,
xoxoxo

Mimi said...

The best place to celebrate New Year's Eve in the USA is Las Vegas. The fireworks there are amazing and you can look in the sky and see about 12 different displays from big hotels all around the city. Happy New Year!

♥ Amy ♥ said...

happy new year odette! xxxx

living_with_ba said...

I hope you have a good New Year celebration, sorry I've not been around as much, things haven't been going okay for me recently, but I vow to change that in the New Year...see you in 2010!

Lirish said...

Happy New Year Odette.. :)May this new year bring you peace, prosperity, good healths and lots of fun, love and romance.. ;)

XOXOXOXO

Odette said...

Lirish,
Thank you so much...
xoxoxo

jen said...

Happy New Year Odette!!! Yikes, all that noise...I would have to hide under the bed with the cat!!!

Many blessings to you in this new year!!

Jen

Sid Brechin said...

Tracey's comment about a headache just made me laugh. A few days ago I had a terrible headache and all of a sudden everyone was suddenly yelling and cheering outside. With the sudden noise I was literally in tears for maybe a half hour. Later I found out the Olympic torch had just been carried right past my front door on it's way to the winter Olympics. Two days later my friend Rick of whom I have wrote. Carried it through most of Canadian Forces Base Borden. Unusual for someone completely non military to be given that honor. However because he lives nearby and being an amputee he often talks to kids on behalf of the War Amps. Plus he had only weeks before set the new world record for the half marathon at the Canadian Army run in Ottawa.

I'm glad the forces have chosen to embrace him as one of their own. He does remind me of many of the best soldiers I have served with.

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