Occasions Filipinos never fail to celebrate
Red Ribbon cakes, breads and pastries turn these celebrations into memorable family moments
For Filipinos, food and celebrations are inseparable. Nothing seems to reinforce the social bonds better than occasions made memorable by the company of family and close friends.
As a country, we are known for having many holidays. These holidays are used as a reason to come together to enjoy each other’s company and renew the bonds between each member. And while we have a penchant for celebrating even ordinary occasions, there are few occasions that we always mark in a big way.
Over the years, Red Ribbon’s cakes, breads, and pastries have become a staple of these major celebratory occasions and make family get-together more memorable. These cakes and pastries have somehow become the perfect ending to any celebratory meal whether it is a feast that’s grand or meal that is simple.
As soon as the “ber” months start, we know that the Christmas season is upon us. Beginning September, we already begin counting down the days to December 25. As the air begins to chill, we anticipate every party we attend, look forward to every get together and get excited as Christmas Eve draws near. Come the evening of December 24, we welcome Christmas with a feast fit for a king. As is our custom, the table is almost always filled to overflowing usually with food that would take hours to prepare. Morcon, Christmas ham, turkey, fruit salad and lechon are just some of the food commonly served during noche buena. After the meal, gifts are exchanged and the ties that bind are renewed.
New Year Eve
Filipinos do things in a big way. It is no surprise that we like to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a great deal of fanfare. New Year’s Eve is an occasion where we welcome the coming year with the customary fireworks display in an effort to drive away the spirits of the previous year. Like all our big celebrations, we gather friends and loved ones with a feast. The dining table is usually filled with the most sumptuous food and the most glorious desserts. New Year’s Eve celebrations are marked by the sharing of a meal, gifts and conversation among family members. It is a time when we throw out the old ways to make way for the new.
Every second Sunday of May is a day we always find reason to celebrate. It is a day we honor the most important women in our lives: our mothers. It is no surprise that families meet up, give gifts and share food, good conversation and memories about how wonderful our mothers are. While not as big a celebration as Christmas and New Year, Mother’s Day celebrations always give families a reason to come together and share a meal and memories and thank our mothers for always being there.
If May is the month wherein we celebrate the love we have for our mothers, June is the month where we pay tribute to our dads. Like Mother’s Day, we find the time to meet up over a meal and more importantly, thank our fathers for providing for all of us in the family. And like any celebration, gifts and food are shared among one another in the family.
Birthdays are perhaps the most personalized celebration of all. Some celebrate alone but being a society with close family ties, most birthday celebrations are done with the family in full attendance. The food we serve during birthdays also takes on special meaning. Noodles or pasta is one common fare during birthday parties because it means long life and prosperity.
February 14 is what many consider a day for lovers to celebrate. Flowers and chocolates are synonymous to this day. However, over the years, Filipinos have come to treat this day as a day to be with family and friends. After all, who says February 14 is only for lovers? While this day may not be as grandly celebrated as Christmas, New Year’ or Mother’s Day, we still make it a point to gather the people near and dear to us and celebrate with a meal that is shared and served with love.
Indeed, these celebratory occasions are demonstrative of the close-knit family ties we Filipinos have and moreover, how family, occasion, and food are shared among one another. These are the hallmarks that define our culture and have added color our heritage for many generations now.