Pinoys have a unique way of celebrating New Year’s Eve in the Philippines. They welcome the New Year with loud firecrackers, colorful fireworks, and loads of superstitions that may determine their fate in the coming year. Here are some of the things that Filipinos do, the same things that you can expect them to do as they bid 2015 goodbye and welcome 2016 into their lives.
1. Media Noche
New Year is not complete without having a feast on the table, called Media Noche. Family members, relatives, and friends will enjoy the food and drinks during the reunion on this significant first day of the year.
2. Preparing round-shaped fruits
Filipinos, just like the Chinese, believe that having round things in the house will bring in prosperity. This is why Pinoys are keen on preparing 12 different kinds of round-shaped fruits, such as oranges, grapes, watermelons, pears, and others, as the festive table’s centerpiece. Twelve is the magic number as it represents all 12 months in a year to ensure a prosperous life all year round.
3. No spending
Filipinos believe that everything you do on January 1 will determine what will happen to you throughout the year, which is why many of them choose to stay at home and not spend even a peso. This should help them avoid spending a lot of money for the rest of the year.
4. Jumping at midnight
Kids were raised to believe that if they jump as high as they can at midnight, just when the year changes, they will grow taller. There is no scientific explanation behind this belief, but what have you got to lose if you do it? Jumping is fun, anyway.
5. Going crazy for polka dots
It’s not surprising to see many people wearing polka dot outfits during the New Year. Filipinos believe that since polka dots are round, they will also help attract prosperity in the year to come.
6. Pancit is a hit
Pancit, or long noodles, is believed to bring in good luck and good health for the year. This is also why pancit is ever present during Filipino birthday celebrations.
7. Eating sticky rice
Filipino families that eat sticky rice together, stay together forever. This Filipino superstition is rooted in the belief that eating biko, or sticky rice, will improve the family bond.
8. No fish and chicken
Despite the need to fill the table with lots of good food, chicken and fish recipes are unfortunately a big no-no during Media Noche. Filipinos believe that these foods represent scarcity, which must be avoided if you want a prosperous year.
9. Money matters
If you want to welcome 2016 with a chance to earn more money, then you should start the year free from debts and with pockets and wallets filled with new peso bills. Your financial status at the stroke of midnight, as they believe, will set your financial condition for the rest of the year.
10. Opening every door
On New Year’s Eve, all the cabinets, drawers, doors, and windows should stay open to bring in good fortune and positive vibes from heaven.
11. No house cleaning
The household should postpone cleaning and not schedule it on New Year’s Day, if they don’t want to sweep away their good fortune. What you need to do though is to do a general cleaning before New Year, since it is also believed that a clean home invites good luck.
12. Making loud noises to shoo the evil spirits away
New Year in the Philippines is a parade of fireworks and firecrackers not only to celebrate the occasion, but to drive the bad spirits and elements away. Even if you’re not a fan of firecrackers and fireworks, you can still make loud noises any way you can. Some would sound off their car’s horn, bang their kitchen utensils, listen to loud music from their speakers, or use a torotot, a small handmade trumpet.
So, how do you usually celebrate your New Year’s Eve?