Chinese New Year celebrates the start of the season of spring and the beginning of a new year in the Chinese Lunar calendar. It is undoubtedly, one of the biggest and most important festivals celebrated not only in China but across the world, especially in countries with many Chinese immigrants— and the Philippines is not an exception.
While the Chinese community is only about 5% of the Philippine population, Chinese New Year Philippines is one of the most awaited events in the country.
Unlike other Philippine holidays, Chinese New Year has no fixed date as it follows the lunar calendar, based on the movement of the moon.
Chinese New Year in Binondo
In Binondo, a hot spot of trade in Manila, the Chinese New Year Philippines is highly celebrated since the district was influenced by the Chinese culture.
Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world which was acknowledged in 1594 as permanent settlement of Chinese immigrants during the Spanish occupation.
You will find several stalls that are selling lucky charms while restaurants offer authentic Chinese food at reasonable prices along Ongpin Street. You can also feast on authentic Chinese food just by the streets, enough reason to celebrate Chinese New Year in Binondo.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year in Binondo includes cultural performances like the traditional lion and dragon dance.
Filipino Chinese New Year Traditions: Why It’s More Fun in the Philippines
Whether you are predicted to have a great Year of the Rat this coming 2020 or not, it’s always better to prepare for your best year yet.
Knowing the Filipinos, believing in superstitions and traditions has been part of the culture. And when it comes to Chinese New Year Philippines, they do everything to boost their luck for the year.
Below are the Filipino Chinese New Year traditions that you’d encounter when you celebrate Chinese New Year Philippines!
1. Lion and Dragon Dances
Dragon is a powerful symbol in China because it is believed to represent great power, auspiciousness, wisdom, and fertility. Both the dragon and lion dances paired with clamorous drumbeats and cymbals are performed during special events, especially on Chinese New Year to bring luck to the community.
2. Red Envelopes (Ang Pao)
One of the things people look forward to, especially the children, during Chinese New Year is the red envelope. Red envelopes with money are usually given by the elders to the children. Giving out red envelopes is believed to bring good luck to the receiver as well as the giver.
3. Wearing Red
For the Chinese, red is considered to be the luckiest color. It is believed to bring good luck. So people wear red from head to toe or surround themselves with anything red.
4. Fireworks and Firecrackers
Using fireworks and firecrackers on Chinese New Year is believed to scare off bad spirits, bad luck, and the mythical beast called Nian.
5. Making Noise
Just like the fireworks and firecrackers, making all sorts of noise during the Chinese New Year is believed to drive away bad spirits. In the Philippines, people use horns, basin, cooking pots, and many more to make noise.
6. Tikoy and Round Fruits
Tikoy is the most popular treat during Chinese New Year in the Philippines. It is made from sticky or glutinous rice which is ground into flour and then mixed with lard, water and sugar. Serving and eating tikoy is believed to be a symbol of a “higher year” to come.
Also, Filipinos always prepare 12 different round fruits during this time in the hopes that it will bring luck and fortune to them.
7. New Year’s Eve Dinner
The most important Chinese New Year tradition is having a great feast with the entire family. As much as possible, it is necessary for all the members of the family to be present for the New Year’s Eve dinner. More than the fortune, being together and complete is what’s important. Sharing meals together strengthens the family bonding.
Where to stay for Chinese New Year Philippines
Chinese New Year is not just about the fortune and luck that might come for the year but it is about the bond of the family and your loved ones that will make your year happier, luckier, and more fruitful.