Many would say that Thanksgiving is only observed in Western countries, but some Filipinos actually celebrate this holiday as well.
Sharing a Holiday With America
The Thanksgiving holiday was introduced by Americans, allowing us here in the Philippines to get a taste of the celebration held overseas. This allowed for both cultures to share their own history with one another.
Contrary to popular belief, we celebrate Thanksgiving—at least our version of it—although it’s not a national or official holiday in our country. We call it Pasasalamat, which means gratitude. While Americans celebrate it on the fourth Thursday of November, we hold this event whenever there’s an important milestone. Among these celebrations are passing an exam or graduating from school, buying a new home, or even recovering from illness.
A Way to Give Thanks: The Filipino Way
For many Filipinos, milestones and blessings are always reasons to be thankful and a cause for celebration. There is no better way to commemorate special occasions than with delicious food and loved ones to celebrate them with.
Turkeys are rarely raised in the Philippines. The Filipino version of Thanksgiving is served with roasted chicken or pig—the latter serving as the centerpiece. Roasted pig, known as lechon, is a staple dish at significant occasions and large gatherings such as weddings, birthdays, and festivals.
Our country is a multitude of cultures and ethnicities, all of which share the value of being grateful for an abundant harvest, new beginnings, and significant events. The Filipino way of Thanksgiving is always an excellent time to share these joys with those closest to us.