Before we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017, here are some of the 7 Filipino New Year Traditions practiced by many if not all Filipino Families that you might want to try.
12 Round Fruits
A common center piece during the Media Noche, are the 12 round fruits, which signifies each month of the year. Having round fruits on the table on New Year’s Eve is said to bring good luck and prosperity. The challenging part of this tradition is that there must be 12 different fruits not just 12 pieces of round fruits, and most often than not half of the fruits on the table are non-circular. Some of the common round fruits on the table would be – oranges, clementines, cantaloupes, pomelo, watermelon and grapes. Some would try to find guavas, melon or simply add mangoes, bananas, apples and pineapples or whatever fruit they can find the market.
Pancit and Malagkit
The 7 Filipino New Year Traditions will not be complete without pancit (noodles) and malagkit (glutinous or sticky rice). Pancit are cooked and served to signify long life, egg could also be added as it symbolizes new life. Traditional delicacies made from malagkit like biko and other kakanin(rice cakes), which are common afternoon snacks, are also prepared. They say that this will make good fortune stick around all year.
Up Up and Away
This does not mean going on high place or boarding a plane or flying. This simply means jumping as high as you can. Old folks believe that jumping high when the clock strikes 12 can help children grow taller. There is no scientific evidence to prove that this is true, but it is something fun and has been made a joke especially on social media, tagging your closest “cute sized” friends on facebook asking them to jump as they still have a chance and nothing to lose anyway. For those who really want to grow tall, this tradition is surely worth a try. Try to look at this way, if you didn’t grow even a tiny bit taller, at least you were able to burn some calories from eating a lot of carbs.
MAKE SOME NOISE!!!
Light up firecrackers, blow your horns and whistles, drag empty cans on concrete floors, strike pots and pans, play some really really loud music or shoot a gun in the air (if you dare. Kidding aside, just use toy guns. You know, the ones that light up and play some random music like light sabers. Those ones not real guns). Anything counts as long as it makes noise, you can even jump on strong wooden floors, two birds with one stone, right? Making loud noises on New Year’s Eve is believed to drive away evil spirits and elementals.
Luck is an open door
♫♫♫The window is open, so’s that door, i didn’t know they did that anymore…♫♫♫ Just like how every window and door was opened in the movie Frozen, it is one of the 7 Filipino New Year Traditions to open the doors, windows, cabinets, drawers, cupboards and gates to welcome good luck into the household. But you should be careful and watchful when doing this so that unwanted guests or robbers won’t be able to go into your house. Some people are also out there waiting for their luck to come.
Do not serve chicken or poultry
Some families avoid serving poultry dishes during New Year to avoid the possibility of experiencing financial problems. Chicken is often associated with “isang kahig, isang tuka”, a Filipino saying that is equated to hardship and poverty.
Start with a clean slate
It is believed that paying any existing debt can help you to avoid repeating the cycle of borrowing and paying on the upcoming year. With all your debts paid, you should put new money on your wallet and coins in your pockets. It is believed that whatever condition your wallet was in when the New Year begins, it will be in that state for the rest of the year.
So, there goes the 7 Filipino New Year Traditions that you might want to try this year. Keep it mind that every family has their own unique way of celebrating the New Year, so there’s no need to always do what others do. No need for arguments on which practice is better or worse, after all it’s the beginning of a new year. It’s time to leave behind all of last year’s negativities and start a new. Have a Prosperous New Year!