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New Year’s customs in the Philippines

New Year’s day is only a few days away, and across the globe nations are gearing up for the advent of 2011. In the Philippines, the New Year’s holiday is a major celebration that culminates with a display of fireworks known as Filipino paputok.

The holiday is a time for family and friends to gather together for a meal on the eve of the New Year. Often the feast will include 12 different fruits that represent the 12 months of the previous year.

After the nighttime meal, the family and loved ones typically say a prayer and then go to a midnight mass ceremony. The religious service is believed to bring good luck in the coming year.

In rural regions of the nation, people will take to the streets banging pots and pans to ward off evil spirits. It is also a tradition to greet neighbors in the street and wish them a Happy New Year. Many people living abroad who can’t ring in the New Year with their loved ones will send money to the Philippines or send money online as a gesture of well-wishing.

There are many cultural events taking place in the Philippines at the end of this month. Some citizens will wear outfits adorned with polka-dots, which represent prosperity. There will also be dances and music events held throughout the nation.

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