New Year's Eve in the Philippines

When is New Year's Eve in Philippines?

New Year's Eve in Philippines is on December 31, 2022. It falls on Saturday.

How many days until New Year's Eve in Philippines?

There are 216 Days left until New Year's Eve in the Philippines.

Is New Year's Eve a public holiday in Philippines?

New Year’s Eve is a national observance and a special non-working holiday in the Philippines. New Year’s Eve, locally known as Bisperas ng Bagong Taon in the Philippines, is the evening where people start to prepare for New Year’s Day. This celebration takes place every 31st day of December. New Year’s Eve marks the last day of the year based on the Gregorian Calendar. Therefore, this annual celebration would always be one of the largest celebrations in different countries, including the Philippines. Some businesses like shops and malls remain open as well as other organizations and establishments. Schools and government offices are closed on New Year’s Eve.

How New Year's Eve started

The first primitive New Year’s Eve celebration documented dates back 4,000 years ago to the ancient Babylon. For Babylonians, they would consider that certain day as a New Year’s Eve if the first new moon succeeding after the vernal equinox, a day in the month of March where the sun is exactly above the equator causing the night and day to have an equal length, happens. On the other hand, the fixed celebration of New Year’s Eve started when two Roman consuls were named numbered due to military purposes.

New Year's Eve Traditions in the Philippines

There are a number of traditions observed in the Philippines during New Year’s Eve. Among them are the following:

Media Noche

Media Noche is a Spanish word which literally means ‘midnight’. Media Noche is a Filipino tradition where everyone looks forward to. People usually prepare Filipino foods to dig in for the large feast prepared on New Year’s Eve and to be eaten at exactly 12 a.m. on January 1. Some Filipino foods prepared on the table for the holiday includes lechon, Filipino style spaghetti, pancit, sticky rice cakes, grilled fish, beef caldereta, pininyahang manok with gata, and many more. Some of these foods have certain symbols. Pancit and spaghetti represent long life and will always be present in the Filipinos’ tables even on a birthday celebration. Eating stick rice cakes is one of the traditions for Filipinos in welcoming the New Year. Preparing a whole grilled fish brings good luck for the following year. The fish’s scale represents coins while its way of swimming in the ocean is said to be a way of looking forward in life. Providing a whole pork or lechon symbolizes prosperity. Lechon is a Filipino food which is a roasted pig – it’s meaty, juicy, and crispy skinned.

Noisiest time of the year

New Year’s Eve is the noisiest time of the year in the Philippines. Filipinos would make loud noises for they believe it would make bad spirits and bad luck go away. Kids would blow their colorful horns or torotot which is made out of paper while some are out of plastic. Some kids, guided by adults, would light up firecrackers. Some Filipinos would also make noises from their cooking pans and pots and hit it like a drummer does using spoons. You could hear them everywhere in the evening. These noises are at its loudest when the clock hits exactly 12 am, marking the start of the new calendar year.

Sweet and round fruits

Preparing twelve round fruits on New Year’s Eve is believed to bring fortune and prosperity for the whole year. Each round fruit represents the twelve months of the year. The fruits must be sweet and not sour or bitter since Filipinos believe these would bring good luck for each family member. This Filipino tradition is widely practiced across the Philippines.

New Year’s beliefs

Many New Year’s beliefs are believed by Filipinos. One of it is jumping high when twelve o’clock strikes on January 1. Kids have to jump high to grow taller since Filipinos are not well blessed in height. Even adults do this with the kids. Wearing polka dots also represents prosperity and wealth since all round shape, just like fruits, represent these beliefs. Wearing polka dots pattern on your shirt, pants, shoes, or bags is significant to Filipinos on New Year. Opening their windows and doors is also believed to enable fortune and good luck to enter their homes. Many Filipinos practiced these traditions for they believe these would bring happiness and wealth for the following year.

Dates of Observance for New Year's Eve
Year Date Day Holiday
2022 December 31 Saturday New Year's Eve
2023 December 31 Sunday New Year's Eve
2024 December 31 Tuesday New Year's Eve
2025 December 31 Wednesday New Year's Eve
2026 December 31 Thursday New Year's Eve
2027 December 31 Friday New Year's Eve
Upcoming Philippines Holidays
Holiday Date
Independence Day June 12, 2022
José Rizal's birthday June 19, 2022
Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) July 09, 2022