Food for the Noche Buena Table

     Noche Buena which literally means “Good Night” refers to the night of Christmas Eve. This is a very special event for Filipinos because this is the time where family and friends come together for a very special and sumptuous Christmas dinner. This usually comes after the entire family has attended the late evening Christmas Eve mass or Misa de Gallo. So if you are still thinking of what to prepare for Noche Buena, here are some of the country's well-loved food items that usually find their way to the tables of Filipino families.

Bibingka is a traditional Philippine Christmas food. It is usually eaten along with Puto Bumbong right after the Simbang Gabi and are sold outside the churches during Christmas season

Hot chocolate made from tablea, the drink most enjoyed during Christmas

For Filipinos, Christmas is not complete without queso de bola, a ball of edam cheese wrapped in red paraffin wax, with its festive appearance, it is a favorite during Noche Buena

Sweet-cured Christmas ham plays an important part during this Yuletide season. It is then served on the table in preparation for the "Noche Buena" together with the other delicacies.

Lechon or Roast Pig is a popular choice for those who have more money to spend

Holding on to the Chinese belief that noodles bring long life, Filipinos have always made it a point to serve pansit, spaghetti, or any other similar dish during special occasions, which include the noche buena.

Popularly known as Sopas, this warm chicken soup serves as comfort food that keep us warm this cold Christmas season

It's impossible not to see a bowl of fruit salad in a Filipino family's noche buena table. Sweet and refreshing, fruit salad is easy to make and is not too expensive.

Piping-hot chestnuts, Christmas dinners are never complete without "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" - or at least in the kitchen oven -- served during Noche Buena

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