Media Noche is the most valued Filipino tradition. It is a Spanish term for “midnight” and here, families and friends get together to feast and celebrate as the coming new year unfolds.
Together with it, we revel by lighting fireworks, jumping and making loud noises to drive away evil spirits. 12 round fruits are also displayed on the table while we don ourselves with polka dots to symbolize money.
And of course, the ideal Filipino fiesta tradition would not be complete without the presence of a plumped full roasted pig or more known as lechon as the centerpiece on the table.
Lechon has been considered a symbol of prosperity since time immemorial. Our ancestors have been raising swines even before the arrival of Spanish colonizers and Chinese merchants—which both have greatly influenced our much-loved national dish of today.
This spit-roasted, suckling pig bears influences of a kaleidoscope of cultural and culinary influences. On special occasions, it seats at the core of food arrangements. The bigger it is, the better as it is superstitiously believed to welcome fortune.
Lechon is “pork perfected” as they say. Revelers are awed by the manner of how it came to be. They admire its golden skin which is caramelized into a crispy, candied sheet. Its smokey meat is peppered with garlic and lemongrass is stuffed inside as it is blackened by soy sauce and charcoal flames.
And so—for this new 2021–we cast away all the ghosts of the past year as we hope for the best. Let’s have a feast. Let’s lechon!