New Year is all about fresh starts or new beginnings! It’s all about looking back at the events of the past year and collecting all the lessons learned to better face the current year and the years to come with more hope and fervor.
However, the new year is also a time for renewed cultural commitments and traditions especially for us Filipinos. It’s a very colorful and merry event that showcases the warmth of the people as they celebrate an old year and welcome a new one.
Filipinos or Asians in general usually equates a new year’s celebration with luck. That is why all our new year traditions are geared toward this central theme, filling our lives with superstitious beliefs and activities that are supposed to ward off bad luck or bring us good luck.
Here are 10 New Year Traditions and Beliefs For Luck, Health and Prosperity
- Make lots of loud noises when the clock strikes 12 midnight of December 31st! Not to welcome the new year with a big bang but actually to scare away evil spirits that bring bad luck. A Chinese belief that we, Filipinos carried-on every new year. Firecrackers are usually used because they make the loudest noise but due to the rise of Firecracker-related injuries and fires, authorities urges households to use other noise-making alternatives like the ‘torotot’.
- Open everything! Doors, windows, cabinet doors, drawers, and even all the lights inside the house. This is intended to let in or attract good fortune.
- The symbol of money is anything that’s round or circular in form. Wear any thing that has circles on it, the more the luckier – so polka-dot it is! Display and eat fruits that are round (or round-like) like oranges, watermelon, melon and grapes.
- More money, more awesome! Scatter coins all over your place from the front door to the back, inside drawers, water-filled pails, window panes – everywhere!
- New money, even more awesome! Withdraw from your bank an amount enough to fill your wallet (do not empty your bank account) – make sure you ask the bank teller to give you new bills (20s is good, hundreds, better). Put it on your wallet and don’t you spend it, well at least not after January 1st! It is believed that your financial status during the first day of the new year determines your financial luck the whole year.
- A cheaper version of this tradition is wearing shorts or pants and filling all the pockets with lots of coins. When the clock hits 12MN on December 31, shake your pockets and make all the coins sound.
- As an initial requirement to all the money activities for the new year, and to make it more effective, make sure to pay all your debts before January 1st. Well, at least all outstanding debts and dues.
- Make it full! Refill everything before January 1. At least, have your rice and salt containers full. Some even go the extra mile by making sure that all water containers are full at the stroke of midnight.
- Make it 12! 12 fruits and 12 fresh flowers are recommended. The significance of the number 12 is not clear but it is again supposed to bring us more luck. Some would also hang 12 pieces of grapes on the doorways.
- Eat peanuts, long noodles and ‘malagkit’ – we call our rice cakes ‘sinukmani’ it’s like ‘biko’. Anything that’s sticky, long and plenty is good! Avoid eating chicken during the new year because, well like what the old folks say ‘Isang Kahig, Isang Tuka.’
So that’s it, 10 things to do during the new year! As long as it doesn’t compromise health, safety and personal or religious beliefs – I think there’s no harm in following these new year traditions. It never hurt anyone to wish for more good luck but it’s even better if we ourselves becomes the bearer of good luck to our fellow men in the coming year.
So, Happy New Year everyone and rainCHECK wishes you all the best of luck in 2015!