9 Filipino New Years Eve superstitions

If you have a Filipino background, you’ll know and either love or hate the many superstitions that your grandma or mama have told you about or made you follow.

And there is no other day more filled with them than New Year’s Eve. Here are some of the one’s I’ve grown to know over the years thanks to Mum and Lola.

Filipino food new yearsImage courtesy of English Channel

1) Wear polka dots because anything round represents lots of money and prosperity in the new year

2) Have 12 (or 13, one for extra luck) round-shaped fruits on your table again for prosperity in each month of the coming year.

3) Have lots of food on your table including seafood, pansit (noodles represent long life) and round desserts. (Some say they don’t have chicken or fish on the table as they are associated with the scarcity of food. Others may serve a whole fish as they are a symbol of wealth and prosperity – each to their own!)

4) Palitaw (Sweet Rice cakes) – Mum used to cook these round rice cakes during New Years Eve. As the clock strikes midnight the flat sticky cakes would float from the bottom of the casserole to the top representing a new year full of “ups” ie. “hindi kami lulubog sa utang o problema”.

5) Sticky round desserts – The stickiness of the various native rice desserts represent closeness and Filipinos also help the good fortune to “stick”!

6) Shake coins in your pockets and your wallet and walk around the house to bring you prosperity in the new year (Mum also would scatter coins and rice in the corner of each window sill in our house)

7) Turn all the lights on in the home and open all the doors to bring in a bright and propserous new year.

8) Jump really high as midnight strikes to increase your height – we used to have to do this as kids.

8) Honk the car horn, shake your coins, make noise with fire crackers – just make a lot of noise to scare away evil spirits. New Years Eve in the Philippines brings about so many fireworks-related injuries so don’t turn the tv on if you happen to be over there during this time – the images will make you super squeamish.

9) Clean everything before the New Year.
But don’t clean anything on New Years Day so as to not sweep away all the good fortune you brought in on New Years Eve.PalitawFront1Image courtesy of Panlasang Pinoy

One of our friends has also told us that his parents roll watermelons (the bigger the better), down the hallway from their front door heheh!

Another also says that they don’t spend any money at all on New Year’s Day as thriftiness on New Years day will set the way you manage your money in the new year.

Have I missed any? Let me know in the comments below!
What superstitions does your grandma have? I wonder if other cultures have similar traditions!

Have a safe and successful New Year everyone!