If you ask a Filipino what their favorite holiday is, you’ll probably get various answers. While Christmas is undoubtedly the most popular time of year to celebrate, there are several other holidays that are important to the people of the Philippines. And knowing about these traditions can give you a better understanding of the culture as a whole.
So whether you’re planning a trip to the Philippines or just curious about how Filipinos celebrate, this guide to Filipino holiday traditions is a must-read. Make sure to bookmark it for future reference!
Different Holidays in the Philippines
Before we dive into the specifics of how Filipinos celebrate each holiday, it’s important to note that there are a few different types of holidays celebrated in the Philippines. There are national holidays, which everyone in the country observes, and there are local holidays, which are specific to certain regions or provinces. But here are a few of the most important holidays that are celebrated throughout the Philippines:
➣New Year’s Day
Celebrated on January 1st, this holiday is much like New Year’s celebrations in other parts of the world. Families get together to enjoy a feast and welcome in the new year with hopes for a prosperous future.
It is not uncommon for people to stay up all night on New Year’s Eve to watch the clock strike midnight. And it’s also customary to wear red underwear on New Year’s Day as it is believed to bring good luck in the coming year.
➣Araw ng Kagitingan
Also known as the Day of Valor, this holiday falls on April 9th and commemorates the Philippines’ victory over Japanese forces during World War II. There are several different events and ceremonies held on this day, but one of the most popular is the wreath-laying ceremony at the Manila American Cemetery.
It is where thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during the war are buried. And it’s a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by so many in the name of freedom. The cemetery is open to the public, and visitors are welcome to pay their respects.
Held on May 1st, Labor Day is a national holiday in the Philippines that celebrates the achievements of workers throughout the country. There are often parades and rallies held on this day, as well as several different activities organized by labor unions. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about the working conditions in the Philippines and the challenges that workers face.
With over 10 million workers employed in the Philippines, it’s no wonder that this holiday is so important. It means a lot to the people of the Philippines and is a great way to show support for workers’ rights.
One of the most important holidays in the Philippines, Independence Day, is celebrated on June 12th. It marks the day the country gained independence from Spanish colonial rule in 1898. There are several different events and celebrations held on this day, but one of the most popular is the flag-raising ceremony at Rizal Park in Manila.
This holiday is a time for Filipinos to come together and celebrate their country’s history and culture. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Philippines and its people by attending one of the many events held on this day.
No guide to Filipino holiday traditions would be complete without mention of Christmas. It’s one of the most important holidays in the Philippines and is celebrated by people of all religions. Christmas in the Philippines starts on December 16th and goes until January 6th. That’s a whole 40 days of celebrating!
And it’s not unusual for families to put up their Christmas trees and decorations as early as October. The Christmas season is a time for family, friends, and food. And it’s a time to enjoy the many different traditions that make Christmas in the Philippines so special.
While Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world, it’s a relatively new holiday in the Philippines. It was only introduced in the 1990s but has since become very popular. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th and is a day for people to express their love for one another.
There are several different ways to do this, but one of the most popular is to give flowers. Roses are the most popular choice and are often given by men to women in their lives. Valentine’s Day is a special day for couples, but it’s also a great opportunity for single people to treat themselves.
Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian calendar and is celebrated by Christians around the world. In the Philippines, Easter is a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate. It’s also a time for food, as many traditional Filipino dishes are served during this time.
Easter Sunday is typically a very festive occasion, with people attending church services and then spending time with their families. Easter is a great time to learn more about the Philippines and its culture.
➣All Saints’ Day
All Saints’ Day is a Catholic holiday that is celebrated on November 1st. It’s a day to remember and honor all of the saints, both known and unknown. In the Philippines, All Saints’ Day is a very important holiday. Many people take the day off from work and spend time with their families.
There are also several different traditions that are followed on this day. One of the most popular is to visit the graves of deceased loved ones and leave flowers or other offerings. All Saints’ Day is a great opportunity to learn more about the Philippines and its Catholic traditions.
Good Friday is a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It’s observed by Christians around the world and is a very important holiday in the Philippines. Good Friday is typically a somber day, with people attending church services and reflecting on the events of Christ’s crucifixion.
Many Filipinos also choose to abstain from meat on this day, as it is a day of fasting and abstinence. Good Friday is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Philippines and its Christian traditions.
Black Saturday is the day after Good Friday and is typically a day of rest. Many people use this time to prepare for Easter Sunday, but it’s also a day to spend with family and friends. Black Saturday is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Philippines and its Christian traditions.
Some people also choose to abstain from meat on this day, as it is a day of fasting and abstinence. It’s also a good time to try some of the traditional Filipino dishes that are served during this time.
Importance of Celebrating Holidays
You might be wondering why all of these holidays are so important to the people of the Philippines. It’s not just because they’re a chance to take a break from work or school. These holidays are important as they:
✔Promote Family Bonding
One of the most essential things about holidays in the Philippines is that they promote family bonding. This is because many of the traditions revolve around spending time with family and friends. And what better way to bond with someone than to share a meal or an experience together?
You’ll get to know your family and friends better as you spend time with them during these holidays. And who knows, you might even learn something new about them, which can only make your relationship stronger.
✔Bring People Together
Holidays are also a great way to bring people together. Whether it’s family, friends, or even strangers, holidays provide a perfect opportunity for people to come together and celebrate. This is especially important in a country like the Philippines, where many people live far away from their families.
During these holidays, people can come together and share their culture and traditions with each other. It is a great way to promote understanding and respect for different cultures. And it will not just be the people of the Philippines who will benefit from this, but everyone who celebrates these holidays.
✔Provide a Break from the Normal Routine
Holidays are also a great way to provide a break from the normal routine. They’re a chance to take a break from work or school and just relax. And what better way to relax than to spend time with family and friends?
You’ll get to enjoy the company of your loved ones, and you might even get to try something new. These holidays are a great way to escape the everyday grind and just enjoy life. And isn’t that what life is all about?
✔Encourage Cultural Understanding
Another essential aspect of holidays in the Philippines is that they encourage cultural understanding. This is because many of the traditions are rooted in the country’s history and culture. By taking part in these traditions, you can learn more about the Philippines and its people.
And as you learn more about the culture, you’ll also start to understand the importance of these holidays. You’ll see how they bring people together and how they promote understanding and respect for different cultures. So if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the holidays, why not try something new and join in the fun?
✔Pay Respect and Honor
Last but not least, holidays in the Philippines are also a great way to pay respect and honor to the elders. This is because many of the traditions revolve around spending time with family. And what better way to show respect for your elders than by spending time with them?
With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder why holidays in the Philippines are so crucial to the people of the country. So if you’re ever in the Philippines during one of these holidays, be sure to join in the fun and celebrate with the locals. You’ll be glad you did!
Uncommon Holiday Traditions in the Philippines
Now that you know some of the most highlighted holidays in the Philippines, let’s take a look at some of the traditions done during these festivities that may be uncommon to foreigners.
One of the most popular holiday traditions in the Philippines is caroling. It is when a group of people go from house to house singing Christmas carols. It’s a great way to spread holiday cheer and get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
Then, the homeowner would usually give the carolers a small gift, like food or money. This tradition is still done today, and it’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and spread some holiday cheer.
Noche Buena is a Christmas Eve dinner that is traditionally served after midnight mass. It is usually a large feast that includes a variety of Filipino dishes, like Lechon (roasted pig), pancit (noodles), and rice cakes.
This dinner is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate the Christmas season. And it’s also a great way to try some of the traditional Filipino dishes that you might not be familiar with.
Media noche is another Christmas Eve tradition that is similar to noche buena. The difference is that media noche is served at midnight, while noche buena is served after midnight mass.
Media noche is a smaller meal than noche buena, and it usually consists of sandwiches and snacks. This tradition is a great way to celebrate the Christmas season with your loved ones and get a little taste of Filipino culture.
Another popular holiday tradition in the Philippines is the Prosperity Bowl. This is a bowl of rice that is given to family and friends as a sign of good luck for the new year. The rice is usually decorated with coins, fruit, and other lucky symbols.
This tradition is a great way to start off the new year on a positive note and to show your loved ones that you’re thinking of them. It’s one of the many ways that Filipinos like to celebrate the new year and bring good luck to their families.
Pagpag is a tradition that is done after visiting a cemetery. It is when you take a shower and change your clothes to avoid bringing bad luck into your home.
This tradition is done to respect the dead and to avoid bringing any negative energy into your home. It’s a great way to show your loved ones that you’re thinking of them during the holidays.
Banderitas are small flags that are used to decorate homes and businesses during the holidays. They are usually made of paper or fabric and are decorated with festive colors and patterns.
This tradition is a great way to add some color and life to your holiday decorations. It’s also a great way to show your patriotism and support for your country.
Simbang Gabi is a nine-day series of dawn masses that are held in the Philippines during the Christmas season. This tradition is done to prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ.
Simbang Gabi is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and show your love for God. It’s done by many Filipinos, and it’s a great way to celebrate the Christmas season.
Comparison to Western Holiday Traditions
While some of these traditions may be unfamiliar to foreigners, they are all a part of Filipino culture and are enjoyed by many. These traditions add meaning and fun to the holidays, and they are a great way to learn more about Filipino culture. But what makes Filipino holiday traditions different from Western traditions?
For one, Filipino holiday traditions are usually more family-oriented. They are a great way to spend time with loved ones and create lasting memories.
Another difference is that Filipino holiday traditions often involve food. Many of the traditions revolve around meals and shared feasts. This is a great way to bond with family and friends and try new foods.
Finally, Filipino holiday traditions are often more religious than Western traditions. This is due to the strong Catholic influence in the Philippines. Many of the traditions revolve around mass, prayer, and attending church services.
Overall, Filipino holiday traditions are unique and special. They are a great way to learn about the culture and to spend time with loved ones. If you have the opportunity to experience these traditions, you should definitely take advantage of them.
Food You’ll Commonly Find During the Holidays
Filipinos love to eat, and the holidays are no exception. There are many traditional dishes that are served during the Christmas season. Some of these include:
One of the most popular Filipino dishes, pansit is a type of noodle that is usually served with chicken or shrimp. With its delicious flavor and easy-to-make recipe, pansit is a dish that is enjoyed by many.
Another popular dish, Lechon, is a roasted pig that is often served on special occasions. It is cooked over an open fire and then served with a special sauce. And because it is a dish that is often shared, it is a great way to bond with family and friends.
A type of cake that is made with fruits, nuts, and spices, fruitcake is a popular Christmas dessert in the Philippines. It is often served with coffee or tea, and it’s a great way to end a meal.
These are just some of the many traditional dishes that are served during the holidays in the Philippines. If you have a chance to try them, you won’t be disappointed.
Biko is a type of rice cake that is made with sticky rice, coconut milk, and sugar. It is often served as a dessert or snack, and it’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
◻Queso de Bola
A type of cheese, queso de bola, is a common ingredient in many Filipino dishes. It is often served as a side dish or used as a topping on food.
Best Places to Celebrate Filipino Holidays
While you can celebrate Filipino holidays anywhere in the world, there are some places that are better than others. Here are some of the best places to celebrate Filipino holidays:
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines, Boracay is a great place to celebrate Filipino holidays. With its beautiful beaches and clear waters, Boracay is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the holidays.
The capital city of the Philippines, Manila, is a great place to experience Filipino culture. It has one of the biggest tiangges in the country, and it’s a great place to find bargains.
Located in the central part of the Philippines, Cebu is another great place to celebrate Filipino holidays. It is home to many historical sites and landmarks, and it’s a great place to learn about the country’s culture and history.
How to Experience Filipino Traditions for Yourself
If you want to experience Filipino traditions for yourself, there are many ways to do so. And knowing how to celebrate Filipino holidays is a great place to start. So here are some tips on how to celebrate Filipino holidays:
👍Attend a fiesta.
Fiestas are a big part of Filipino culture, and they’re a great way to experience the country’s traditions. Fiestas are usually held in honor of a saint or religious figure, and they often involve food, music, and dancing.
If you’re attending a fiesta, be sure to dress appropriately. It’s also important to be respectful of the culture and not take photos without permission.
👍Visit a church.
Churches are an essential part of Filipino culture, and they’re a great place to learn about the country’s traditions. Churches often have mass on holidays, and they’re a great place to pray and reflect.
Be sure to dress modestly when visiting a church and be respectful of the religion. That means no talking, laughing, or taking photos.
👍Take part in a procession.
Processions are a common sight during Filipino holidays, and they’re a great way to experience the culture. Processions usually involve people carrying statues or images of saints, and they often last for hours.
And while you may not be able to take part in the procession, you can still enjoy the experience by watching from the sidelines. Just be sure to keep your camera ready, as you’re sure to see some interesting sights.
👍Buy a parol.
A parol is a type of Filipino decoration that is often seen during the holidays. It is usually made of bamboo and paper, and it’s a symbol of the Christmas season.
Parols are usually sold in tiangges, and they’re a great way to decorate your home for the holidays. So if you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate Filipino holidays, be sure to buy a parol.
👍Try some Filipino food.
Filipino food is some of the best in the world, and it’s a great way to experience the country’s culture. From filipino holiday traditions like biko and queso de bola to popular dishes like adobo and lechon, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
And if you’re not sure what to try, you can always ask a local for recommendations. Just be sure to bring your appetite, as Filipino food is sure to satisfy.
Things to Avoid Doing During Filipino Holidays
Now that you know how to celebrate Filipino holidays, there are a few things you should avoid doing. Here are some things to avoid doing during Filipino holidays:
●Don’t drink too much.
While it’s okay to have a drink or two during the holidays, it’s important not to overdo it. Drinking too much can lead to problems, and it’s essential to be respectful of the culture.
●Don’t take photos without permission.
As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to be respectful of the culture and not take photos without permission. If you want to take photos, be sure to ask first.
●Don’t wear revealing clothing.
When attending a fiesta or church, it’s essential to dress modestly. That means no short skirts, tank tops, or other revealing clothing.
The holidays are a great time to experience Filipino culture, and there are many ways to do so. Whether you’re attending a fiesta, visiting a church, or taking part in a procession, there are many ways to celebrate Filipino holidays. Just be sure to be respectful of the culture, and you’re sure to have a great time. For more Philippine getaway tips, check out this website.