Happy New Year! Without a doubt, 2020’s been a tough year. Yet, it’s still worthwhile to also see the many good things that have happened while welcoming the New Year.
Speaking of New Year, how does your family welcome it? For Chinoy families, traditions vary! Here’s what some may have looked like:
1. The sleepy type
New Year, big welcome? Not so … at least not for everyone! Some families prefer to keep the welcome a little more quiet with no fireworks, noisemakers, and even media noche. And that’s perfectly fine! Welcoming the New Year with a grateful and hopeful heart is more than enough.
2. The foodies
On the other hand, media noche can be a very (more like “veryyyyyyy”) big celebration for the foodies! Preparation usually starts hours before the meal, and every ounce of ingredient is treated with love. Preparing for media noche serves as a great way for the family to bond.
3. The “parang Chinese New Year kahit ‘di naman” type
However, there are some Chinoy families who, aside from being just foodies, are Chinese food foodies. For Chinese New Year’s dinner, many families frequent Chinese restaurants such that most places would be packed to the brim. You name it: Gloria Maris and Choi Garden in Greenhills, A Taste of Mandarin and Tsay Cheng in Cebu … each one is always a full house.
4. The devout
Aside from the New Year, January 1 also marks the very important Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God in the Catholic Church. It’s one of only three holy days of obligation in the Philippines. Thus, devout Chinoy Catholics go to Mass on the eve of January 1 or on the day itself. Going to Mass also serves as a great way to thank God for the past year, while asking for His blessings for the upcoming year.
5. The movie lovers
Ah, the movie lover! Just like on Sundays, some families choose to spend their New Year watching a good and wholesome movie. After all, New Year’s Day is also a time for fun and family, so why not, right?
6) The familial (and angpao) type!
True to the Confucian culture, many Chinoy families also visit their angkongs and amas during the New Year. It’s a wonderful time to care for the people who’ve cared for them. Of course, the grandparents may also give much-welcomed angpao filled with money or little pieces of goodies to their apos, a trademark of Chinese culture!
While these are but six examples — and they will oftentimes intermix — welcoming the New Year may be something that we all need especially this time around. Though it will be a challenge not seeing most of our loved ones face to face, may the joy of a new beginning burn brightly in our hearts!
The author of this article:
An accomplished young Chinese Filipino writer and media personality, Aaron S. Medina is associated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Studies Program, the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, and CHiNOY TV. He has a passion for truth, justice, and Pokémon, too! Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aaron.joseph.s.medina/