Because of how the Spanish (Catholicism and other religious beliefs) and the Chinese (ancient traditions and cultural practices) have influenced our ancestors, to this day, Filipino families have become very superstitious. And to this day, many of these practices are still implemented in Filipino homes, despite not really understanding how it has originated.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are no different—it may even be considered the most important time for Filipinos to actually adhere to their superstitious practices. Here are 8:
Kakanin or sticky rice is a popular delicacy in the Philippines. Certain provinces even have kakanin specialties and these are usually brought home as pasalubong from a vacation. But the kakanin is a New Year staple, too. Its sticky nature is believed to make bonds between families more long-lasting.
NO CHICKEN FOR NEW YEAR
Isang kahig, isang tuka, goes the saying. Filipinos don’t include chicken in their New Year handa because it might bring them food scarcity in the coming year. The saying pertains to the chickens’ way of living, having to scratch the soil only to find a very small piece of food.
FILL YOUR POCKETS AND WALLETS WITH MONEY
It’s one way to ensure that wealth will come in abundance the coming year. Don’t risk an empty wallet or coin purse!
JUMP AS HIGH AS YOU CAN AT 12 MIDNIGHT
Especially for growing kids, the second the New Year ushers in, they must jump as high as they can, to guarantee that they will grow as tall as can be. They may jump for as many times as they want, even for the entire first minute of the New Year, for good measure.
SWITCH ON ALL THE LIGHTS AT HOME
Yes, even the bathroom, the garage light, the lamps—and even when no one’s using it. Having all the lights turned on is believed to welcome goodness and abundance for the coming year.
DON’T SWEEP THE FLOOR
For Filipinos, sweeping the floor means the possibility of sweeping away good fortune. Not just for New Year, but it is a practice that the elderly believe and implement even on other days when they think sweeping the floor at night is considered unlucky.
HAVE 12 ROUND FRUITS ON THE TABLE
Round because it symbolizes coins. Fruits are for abundance. And it has to be 12—no more, no less—to represent each month of the year.
WATCH YOUR NEW YEAR’S DAY HABITS
Whatever it is you do on the first day of the year, you’ll be doing for the rest of the year. So Filipinos usually just like to stay at home, have a feast, and try as much as they can to avoid spending money (especially big amounts!) because it may mean having to shell out cash often for the rest of the year.
Which of these do you stil do? Tell us below!