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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1, New Year's Day. In Filipino, it’s called Araw ng Bagong Taon.
In the Philippines, New Year's Day is celebrated every 1st of January. The celebration starts with New Year's Eve, when families gather for Media Noche meaning the meal to greet the new year, and to set off firecrackers.
This is why New Year's Eve is said to be the noisiest day of the year in the Philippines, because of the large number of outdoor celebrations, parties, and firecrackers.
In this lesson, you will learn how New Year's Day is celebrated in the Philippines.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What do you think would be a good outfit to wear on New Year's Eve in the Philippines?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
During New Year's Eve, families gather in the houses of their parents for Media Noche.
Media Noche is a feast shared by the family to welcome the new year. Every type of food served is laced with an underlying meaning and is believed to bring luck, or swerte and prosperity, or kasaganaan for the new year.
Some of the food prepared during the party, or handaan in Filipino, include a dozen circular fruits believed to bring prosperity, biko (which is a kind of sweetened sticky rice), in order to make our luck stick around; and pansit (a type of noodles) or spaghetti for longevity. In Filipino, the word longevity is mahabang buhay.
Filipinos believe that it's necessary to make noises to ward off evil spirits. That's why firecrackers are set off the moment the clock strikes twelve, and normally continue on until early morning. The exact time new year begins is the noisiest because you won't just hear firecrackers, but also the ringing of pots and pans, trumpets, and blowing of horns.
In recent years, going to street parties to welcome the New Year has become a popular tradition in the Philippines, especially in Manila. This is partly due to the fact that firecrackers are gradually being prohibited for individual use. Due to the massive amount of firecrackers used and since the people typically setting them off at home are not professionals, individual use of firecrackers brings danger to the neighborhood.
Many people also attend street parties sponsored by the two biggest television stations in the country. One of these is held every year at the intersection of Ayala and Makati Avenue. Here, participants can closely see their favorite artists, dance, and watch a fireworks display from professional pyrotechnicians.
When welcoming the new year, it's a tradition for children to jump at midnight, since it is believed that it will make them taller. It is also common to see adults jumping because they are still hoping to grow taller!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What do you think would be a good outfit to wear on New Year's Eve in the Philippines?
It is said that polka dots are the best design to wear on New Year's Eve! Filipinos believe that wearing something with circular patterns, like polka dots, will bring a prosperous year full of luck, especially when it comes to money.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you also wear clothes with particular colors or designs during New Year’s?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Do you also wear clothes with particular colors or designs during New Year’s?