If you think Christmas celebrations in the Philippines are fun, wait until you’ve seen and experienced how Filipinos in the Philippines celebrate New Year’s Eve.
With firecrackers and fireworks lighting up the night skies, serving as an intricate backdrop to the festivities, the modern Pinoys still follow some, if not all, of the traditions and customs handed down through generations.
For those of us who grew up in Filipino homes but now live in foreign soil, we know of special traditional practices done on the last night of the year with our loved ones in the hopes of welcoming a better and more prosperous year.
Check them out here and see how much you remember and practice to this day.
We wear clothing with polka dots or anything with round shaped prints. Round objects are believed to attract prosperity as they symbolize money.
Don’t get caught without coins in your pockets. When midnight strikes, coins must be jingling in your pockets to attract wealth and prosperity. Some families throw coins in the air like candy for little children to pick up on the floor.
The dining table must have a bowl of fruits. The number of fruits vary. Some say 13, others 12 and in some parts, 8 pieces of fruit are enough. The round fruits again symbolize wealth and prosperity the New Year promises to bring to the household.
Spaghetti, pancit or any kind of long noodles should be in the menu to signify good health and long life.
Jumping Three Times
To earn a few inches in height in the coming year, some jump three times on New Year’s eve when the clock strikes 12.
Any type of chicken dish must not be served during dinner on New Year’s Eve because it symbolizes poverty and financial hardship. Ever heard of the Tagalog phrase “Isang Kahig, IsangTuka”?
Cars Dragging Metal
Just a few hours before midnight, cars would drive around the neighborhoods with cans and all sorts of metal tied with a rope or string, attached to the back of the car. When cars drag the metals in the streets, the metal kissing the pavement makes the ultimate screeching sound perfect for the grand entrance of the thousands of firecrackers and fireworks set to steal the show on New Year’s Eve.
Honk Your Horns
Midnight on New Year’s Eve is the safest time to honk your cars on full blast.
Open Windows and Doors
This may not be safe anymore but some Filipinos make sure the doors and windows of their homes are left wide open during New Year’s Eve to bring in good luck.
Save the best for last, they said. Pinoys usually have homemade cannons, locally called “kanyon” , to compete with commercial firecrackers. If done right, the local “kanyon” made of tin cans or bamboo trunks can give any firecracker a run for its money.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to add your own traditions.
Have a safe, meaningful and fun celebration tonight as our side of the world welcomes a brand new year.
Hello 2015! Happy New Year y’all!
New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world