Off the top of your head, I bet you could probably name at least three holidays that aren’t recognized in the Philippines that you’d love to celebrate.
There are a lot of like-minded Filipinos who celebrate these unrecognized holidays on their own terms and by their own means. Whether these celebrations will weigh on our sense of nationalism is another debate entirely, but there’s no harm in celebrating these in the name of fun and universal love—or just another reason to get together and kick back. We move that these holidays start being celebrated in Philippines.
Thanksgiving is a national holiday primarily celebrated by the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessings of the year, most importantly the harvest. It’s mostly celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November. The history of Thanksgiving in America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation.
Nowadays, celebrating Thanksgiving usually means gathering around a table with family and friends to feast, indulge in some booze, and watch American Football. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the main event: the turkey… mmmm.
7. Black Friday
Black Friday is observed the day after Thanksgiving. Since the early 2000s, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. During Black Friday, most major retailers open their doors extremely early, late or even overnight to offer extreme sales. It’s common practice for people to camp outside the mall establishments in preparation for the Black Friday madness. It’s good business for everyone!
6. Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras, or more affectionately known as Fat Tuesday, is a celebration period before the fasting season of Lent. It is the practice of “loading up” on fatty foods and an excess amount of alcohol before the sacrifice of fasting. It is a carnival type celebration with popular practices such as wearing masks, dancing, parades, and debauchery. I don’t know about you, but this would make me look forward to the Lenten season.
Carnival, like Mardi Gras, is a festive gathering that happens before the Christian season of Lent. It involves a public celebration combining elements of a circus. People wear masks to portray an overturning of life’s normal things. The celebration also involves heavy drinking, if you didn’t already know.
Surprisingly, the Philippines used to celebrate this holiday before the dissolution of the Manila Carnival in 1939. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t “resurrect” this Catholic practice.
4. St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is the official Christian feast day of Saint Patrick and is held on March 17. It’s observed by the Catholic Church, the Angelic Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church. The holiday commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. The celebration involves the wearing of green attire, public parades, and festivals.
The restrictions of Lent are lifted on the day providing people the chance to eat and drink to their heart’s content. As a predominantly Catholic country with a rising Irish population, this holiday good be a good breather for the Philippines in the middle of Lent.
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival also known as the Festival of Love or the Festival of Colors. It has become very popular with non-Hindus in Southeast Asia. In recent years the festival has spread to the United States and parts of Europe as a spring festival of love and colors. The celebration starts with a bonfire accompanied by song and dance, followed by a free for all carnival of Colors. People chase each other around while throwing dry powder and colored water at each other to turn the city into a rainbow-splattered mess. Holi is usually observed before a full moon is about to appear.
In the Philippines, we have something similar called Color Run Manila, which is a marathon involving a playful war of colors. Wouldn’t it better if we added the singing, dancing and partying to the equation? Let’s not forget that it should be a non-working holiday, too!
Granted that we have to agree to follow suit with the rest of the modern world and legalize the use of cannabis, 420 is a day of peace and love where people just hang out with friends, pass a spliff around and talk about the good times. It could be the most peaceful holiday there is, since festivities rarely or do not at all involve alcohol.
The purpose of 420 is to raise awareness about the potential of cannabis as well as to erase many of the negative stigma past generations have left imprinted on the otherwise harmless plant.
Flag day is a day for patriotism and unity. In the United States, the holiday is observed for an entire week. The POTUS issues a proclamation urging US citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of the week. Some people hold events in celebration of the flag and everything it represents.
As a patriotic country, the Philippines will benefit from this practice as it will urge us all to be proud of what our flag represents. If implemented, the holiday would fall on May 28, the first time our flag was flown into battle back in 1898.
What holidays do you wish the Philippines would start celebrating? Share it with us by leaving a comment below!