Noche Buena – The History Of Noches Buena (Origins)

The Origins Of The Filipino Tradition, Noche Buena

NOCHE BUENA – As the holiday season nears, Filipinos are ecstatic about the much-awaited tradition called Noche Buena.

Noche Buena - The History Of Noches Buena (Origins)
Image from: UDOU PH

Even those working outside of the country take time to come home to their families to celebrate this tradition. It is a night of bonding, love, gift-giving, and a midnight meal over laughter and storytelling.

It is one of the traditions of the Filipino that has been in the culture throughout time. Along with this, is the reminder of the Filipino’s family-oriented values.

But, how did Noche Buena come to be? What are its origins? How did it start?

Noche Buena is a traditional Chrismas Eve Feast that the Filipinos adopted from Spain. In Spanish it means “Night Of Goodness”.

Noche Buena - The History Of Noches Buena (Origins)
Image from: Pep.PH

Based on an article from TodasyCarolinian, the feast celebrates the “good night” when the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ.

The tradition is also usually celebrated after the nine-day Simbang Gabi. Although Noche Buena’s origins primarily come from Spain, it still has elements of Filipino culture with it.

The most notable of this is the Filipino’s love for rice. Even before the Spaniards arrived, the Filipino natives celebrated the year-end harvest as a symbol of prosperity.

In many rural provinces, the tradition involves decorating the church with bright lights. Children would dress up and kiss the hands of the elderly as a sign of respect.

Noche Buena - The History Of Noches Buena (Origins)
Image from: BWorld

The celebration of this tradition could get complex or simple, depending on the Family. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate this.

The important thing to remember about Noche Buena is the ties that bind a family together through the birth of Christ.

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