Celebrating New Year's Eve the Filipino Way
New Year in the Philippines is one of major festivals of the country and it comes with its rich traditions and culture which have been passed from generations and celebrated with splendor.
We Filipinos follow a lot of traditions and superstitions especially when it comes to celebrating and ushering a prosperous New Year. While some may just disregard these things, others still follow them afraid that bad luck will cover their whole year.
There are so many interesting beliefs associated with New Year's Eve here in the Philippines. Some will find these things funny and irrelevant but these beliefs have been passed through generations and people still believe in them.
It’s hard to ignore traditions especially when you believed it in the first place.
I also just want to share these beliefs to the world especially to people who might want to visit Philippines someday during this festive season.
Although every country, every place welcomes the New Year with different cultures and beliefs, we still share one common goal and that is to have a prosperous year ahead of us.
Well, these traditions have been part of Filipino's lives since the beginning. Many of these customs bear strong Chinese influence. But more importantly, we celebrate the dawn of a new year with so much fun.
Here are the common beliefs or traditions that our neighborhood does on welcoming the New Year.
At the stroke of December 31 midnight, these beliefs come to life....
- Table must have 12 round fruits to signify each month of the year. But ideally, there should be twelve different fruits like oranges, grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon - and the fruit should be ripe and sweet.
- Pancit/Noodles for long life.
- Traditional delicacies like biko (made from sticky rice) for good fortune to stick throughout your whole year.
- Beef and chicken meat as well as vegetables, fish, rice, spices, sugar and salt, also have to present to ensure you have a everything in balance.
- Wear polka-dots and green shirts. Green is money and anything round signifies prosperity.
- Some would wear the Year Color for good luck.
- Jump twelve times at the stroke of midnight so as to increase your height
- Scatter coins around the house - tables, chairs, drawers
- Pay all your debt before New Year and fill your coin purse and wallets with bills and coins. Filipinos believed that whatever financial status you have on New Year will be carried over for the coming year.
- Put coins and bills on your pocket so you will not be short of money when the New Year comes.
- Families and friends gather together for a countdown to New Year.
- Turn on all your lights. This one signifies a brighter year ahead.
- Celebrating New Year without fireworks? Nahh. Even small children lights up Watusi, a small dancing firecracker against concrete and cemented sidewalks.
- Make noise to scare evil away from your house. Tap the kettles, pots and cauldrons to make as much noise.
- Turn on the engine of your car and motorcycles. This is for noise and to make sure that your vehicle will be in good condition throughout the year.
- Kiss your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties and put their hand in your forehead and say God Bless and Happy New Year.
You see these traditions still live within every Filipino’s hearts and soul.
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