12 Amusing New Year’s Traditions In The Philippines

December 29, 2014

New Year celebrations in the Philippines are nothing short of funelectrifying and dynamic. From luscious lip-smacking treats to loud firecrackers and a barrage of chromatic fireworks, Filipinos truly know how to welcome the New Year in style. Of course, Filipinos also have a handful of interesting and amusing New Year’s traditions and superstitions to make this convivial celebration even more fun and enjoyable. Even in this day and age, Filipinos still practice some of these New Year’s traditions to make sure that the upcoming year will bring them plenty of joys and blessings.

12. Media Noche

No New Year’s celebration in the Philippines is complete without the Media Noche. Celebrated on New Year’s Eve, it is an old Filipino custom where family members, friends and relatives gather, to enjoy a night of feasting and drinking. For most Filipinos, the Media Noche is an emblem of family celebration and union.

11. Eating pancit brings luck 

Eating pancit (long noodles) can help bring luck for the upcoming year to the eater, according to old New Year’s traditions in the Philippines. Introduced by the Chinese settlers, these noodles represent good health and long life. That’s why these noodles are also a staple in birthday celebrations in the Philippines.

Sounds ridiculous? Believe me, nearly 80 percent of modern Filipinos still practice this tradition.

10. Sticky rice strengthens family’s bond

Filipinos believed that eating sticky rice like biko will help improve the relations and bond of the family.

9. A variety of round-shaped fruits 

Round is a symbol for prosperity in Filipino and Chinese traditions. For that reason, most Filipinos would use 12 different kinds round-shaped and sweet fruits (grapes, oranges and watermelon) as their centerpiece during their Media Noche.

Why can’t they just prepare just one round fruit for their Media Noche? Well, guess what? Each fruit represents a month in the looming New Year, meaning you should have 12 different fruits on your table so that you will be prosperous all year round.

8. Chicken and fish are a big no-no

Not all delicious mouthful treats, however, can bring good fortune, as far as Filipino New Year’s traditions and superstitions are concerned. Filipinos usually don’t eat Fish and chicken dishes during New Year’s Eve, as they symbolize scarcity of food.

7. A quick get-rich scheme this 2015

Want to fill your bank account and wallet with a load of money this 2015? Then, pay off your debts, and stuff your wallet or pocket with a ton of new peso bills. Filipinos believe that your financial state, at the stroke of midnight, will echo your wealth for the forthcoming year.

6. Don’t spend a dime on January 1

January 1, in the Filipino New Year’s traditions, is a day that dictates everything in your life for the rest of the year. As the Filipino New Year’s traditions imply, the things you will be doing on this day will embody every aspect of your life for this year. Thus, most Pinoys would opt to stay at home on the year’s first day, and avoid spending a peso, so they won’t have to shell out a great deal of cash in the year to come.

5. Jump high when the clock strikes 12

Kids, in the Philippines, are encouraged to jump as high as they can when the clock hits 12 because old folks believe that it will help their youngsters grow taller. I know there is no proven scientific explanation to back up this belief, but hey, it’s worth a shot. Besides, jumping, while screaming your heart out, is a fun way to welcome the New Year.

4. Opening your doors to manna from heaven

When the New Year sets in, Filipinos would open their drawers, cabinets and windows to let the positive vibes and good fortunes get in.

3. House cleaning isn’t a good deed in the Philippines

Cleaning the house may be a bad thing in this Southeast Asian destination, specifically during New Year’s Day. As old Filipino customs suggest, cleaning the house may sweep away the good fortunes that came in during the New Year’s Eve.

2. Wacky polka dot garbs 

As quirky and idiosyncratic as they look, polka dot getups are actually a big hit during this jolly yearly event, across the Philippines.  In Filipino New Year’s traditions, polka dots epitomize prosperity in the upcoming year.

1. Loud noises to drive away the evil spirits

In the Philippines, fireworks and firecrackers are lighted not only to celebrate the new year, but also to create loud sounds that would drive away the wicked spirits and elementals. Not a big fan of ear-piercing and bursting cherry bombs? You can still eradicate all the misfortunes in your life from the past year, by creating fizzling sounds from your car’s horn.

Amused by these unique New Year’s traditions and superstitions? Discover more eccentric and gripping traditions in the Philippines, by planning a trip to this destination with Trekeffect!

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Aldrich Infantado
Aldrich Infantado is a travel junkie and a writing aficionado who loves to share amazing travel tips to his fellow travelers.
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