Don’t Skip these Filipino New Year Traditions

Filipino _blows his paper horn in Manila, Philippines

Year 2022 is about to end and the most awaited celebrations of the year will happen again. Aside from Christmas parties, the celebration of New Year is one of grandest event in every family household. One reason for this is that the event serves as a reunion for many Filipinos. Another possible reason for this is that new year signifies a new start for majority of us. As the new year approaches, we try to leave all the negative happenings in our life with the year that is about to end and become hopeful that the next year to come will be full of positive vibes and blessings. With this, knowing that Filipinos are superstitious, a lot of beliefs were formed and practice up to know to further manifest a fruitful year. Read this article for the top Filipino traditions you shouldn’t skip every new year’s eve.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve the Filipino Way!

New year is one of the most colorful and enjoyable celebrations in the Philippines but did you know that majority of what you see in every new year celebration has a deeper meaning? These have started in our ancestors and have become a tradition for Filipinos. Regardless of your belief on these traditions, it is undeniable that these made the Filipino new year celebration one of the most celebrated and grandest event for every Filipino family. Indeed, the new year celebration in the Philippines is more than just the fireworks display.

If you are interested on the Filipino new year celebration or you are a Filipino who is still naïve on the meaning of the practices we do during this event, don’t you worry! We have compiled a list of the most common new year traditions in the Philippines to help you understand its essence for the believers and our ancestors. Like what the elderly says, “walang mawawala kung ikaw ay maniniwala” so here are the 8 Filipino new year traditions we usually see in every celebration.

The 8 Common New Year Traditions in the Philippines

1. Round-shape fruits on the center of the table

At the top spot, this is the most common new year’s tradition we see in every Filipino household. In Filipino, it is known as “bilog-bilog” by the masses. This tradition is influenced by the Spanish. In Hispanic culture, round-shape fruits symbolize richness or wealth because their form resembles the old-fashioned gold and silver. It is also important that the rounded fruits on your table will come in twelve variants which should be completed by midnight before the start of the new year. With its meaning, it is believed that Filipino tables who have these twelve fruits will have a good luck and a wealthy year ahead of them.

2. Wearing polka dots and anything round

This tradition is anchored with the meaning of collecting rounded fruits during New Year’s Eve. It is like an added luck and wealth for the coming year if you wear an outfit with polka dots or use rounded accessories during the transition to new year.

3. No chicken or fish dishes on your feast

Bad news for chicken and fish lovers, your favorite meat will likely not be served during this event. Even if the dish will be prepared in a fancy way, superstitious people do not want to serve any chicken or fish dishes during the New Year’s Eve. Our ancestors believe that serving these types of dishes will bring food supply inadequacy to the household. It was believed this way because both of these dishes are usually eaten when we are experiencing food scarcity because it is a cheaper alternative from red meat. Additionally, serving chicken during the New Year’s Eve would make the life of the family similar to chickens. There is this saying in Filipino, “isang kahig, isang tuka”. This means that you have to work first (isang kahig) to have food on the table for every meal (isang tuka). In this lifestyle, your financial capacity is just exact for your living necessities especially for food so you do not have food stocks at home or savings to consume especially in times of need.

4. Every container should be filled fully

The idea is just simple. A full container means abundance so it is believed that if your food containers are filled up, you will attract prosperity for the upcoming year.

5. Serving and eating glutinous rice cakes and desserts

Glutinous rice cakes and desserts or commonly known as “kakanin” have a sticky texture. For Filipinos, having this on the table during the New Year’s feast will bring a good relationship in your family thus making your bond stronger. If you are not familiar with the best kakanins in the Philippines especially during this season, you may try reading this article.

6. Making loud noises as the first day of the year approaches

At exactly 12 o’clock or even an hour before the first day of the year, Filipinos are making a lot of loud noises whether it is from the karaoke, television, music speakers, or even car horns. The ultimate goal of this is to be as loud as possible to chase away the bad spirits and negative vibes for the upcoming year. Aside from the loud sounds and fireworks, firecrackers are being lit up by the celebrators to scare the evil spirits and elements even more.

7. Jumping high at exactly 12 o’clock

This might be the funniest of all the new year traditions in the Philippines and proven false by science. Basically, height is only affected by our genetics and the nutrition intake of our body. But for the superstitious people, the essence of jumping as high as you can is that you will grow taller for the upcoming year. Knowing that the Filipino race have a below average height compared to other races, even though this activity is encouraged more for children, adults still test their luck of growing taller even they reached their peak height. Remember the advise of the elderly, “walang mawawala kung ikaw ay maniniwala”. Besides, jumping with your family members seems enjoyable so why not do it for fun, right?

8. Opening the doors and windows of your home

The new year traditions in the Philippines have one thing in common, bringing prosperity in all aspects of life. The practice of opening the doors and windows of your home during the celebration of New Year is like a manifestation or attraction of positive spirits and prosperity all-year round. It is like you are saying to the good spirits that they are welcome in your life and you will accept them with open arms.

A new year is a symbol of new start for every individual, may it be in your career or in your lifestyle. Life is not fairytale. That is why there are a lot of ups and downs and for some, the year that will pass would have been their worst of all time. There is nothing wrong to believe in these superstitions as nothing bad will happen. Aside from perseverance and faith in God, it is just a way to increase your chances of attracting a more positive life rather than a problematic one.

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