Spanish for “excellent night,” Noche Buena is the Filipino Christmas Eve feast that starts at midnight and lasts far into Christmas early morning.
Picture: Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock The All-Nighter As my sibling and I eliminated the Christmas duck from the oven, my mama headed to my moms and dads ‘bedroom to wake my papa up from a nap.
It was 11:30 in the evening.” What do your buddies state when you inform them we do this?” I asked my older bro. He chuckled and responded to, “They think I’m joking.” I was describing Noche Buena.Spanish for”great night, “Noche Buena is the Filipino Christmas Eve feast that begins at midnight and lasts far into Christmas morning. Going back to when the Philippines became a Spanish colony in the 16th century, Filipinos embraced Noche Buena as a method to commemorate– and eat– after returning house from “Simbang gabi,” or “night mass.” Although my household never ever participated in Christmas Eve masses in Canada, my parents kept the latter part of the custom when they moved here 26 years ago.Every Christmas Eve followed the same pattern: the 4 of us would spend the day reworking classic, typically humiliating family memories– like my days as a benchwarmer in a youth basketball league– while seeing a House Alone marathon on TELEVISION. Unsurprisingly, after a while, it ended up being difficult to keep our eyes open.In order to stay awake, we resorted to playing vacation music as loudly as possible. However, my sibling, mama and I would frequently catch one
another falling asleep in the living room. My father, on the other hand, would choose a fast snooze as quickly as the duck remained in the oven at 9 o’clock. The rest people were supposed to keep an eye on the bird.Half of our feast, including my mom’s embutido, a Filipino-style meatloaf, and fruit salad, had actually already been made in the afternoon. Other meals, like the peas,
carrots and mashed potatoes my brother and I were responsible for, were worked up better to midnight.We invested the final half-hour prior to Noche Buena popping in and out of the kitchen, hungry and drowsy, asking one another,” Is it midnight yet?”as if we didn’t know the answer.But the wait was always worth it.The roast duck, with its crispy skin and abundant, succulent meat, was a hit every time. And while a lot of Canadians were asleep, we were up till 4 in the morning consuming, chuckling and eagerly anticipating the brand-new year.Next, checked out more distinctively Canadian vacation customs.