New Year The Filipino Way

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I did post a blog about how Filipinos celebrate Christmas the Filipino way and how this has been considered as the most exaggerated one throughout the entire world due to the fact that we over celebrate it from decorations to caroling and even to eating!

Christmas has become a long array of holidays and celebration because of how it is connected to New Year to a point where there are also firecrackers during Christmas when it was supposed to be used for New Year. Funny right?

Celebrate New Year The Filipino Way

Today, I would like to make another blog on how Filipinos celebrate New Year. Thus, I am entitling it as New Year The Filipino Way.

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Filipinos have them every reason to celebrate all the events whole year round. From Valentines to Labor Day to Holy Weeks up to Christmas. We have a lot of holidays the entire year and this year 2018, most of these holidays fall on weekdays which means, employers would be paying their employees for days of not working because they are regular holidays in the country.

Although it may sound like a disadvantage for the employers, it is another means for the employees like me to be out of the office. Either we keep that day as another off day and would just stay at home and rest, most of the people nowadays would enjoy long weekends!

Long weekends means going out of the house for leisure. I do spend most of these times to travel to other locations.

Now let's deal with the certain things we Filipinos do and follow for New Year.

1. Pamahiin / Superstitions

This is definitely one of the best things about Filipinos celebrating New Year. Before the food, every household is compelled to follow certain beliefs to help them survive the next year.

While I am not really into these superstitions, I can't deny the fact that the people around me even my family are following these.

There are a lot of superstitions we Filipino do during New Year and days before the New Year, we make it sure to get all of these things ready.

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Polka Dots

Wearing of polka dots means to attract wealth for the next year. The dots signify coins or money as the Chinese belief says. In fact, this superstition was taken from the Chinese culture as Filipinos and Chinese have a trading relationship way before time.

Fill Your Pockets with Coins

Another superstition to attract wealth and prosperity is to keep your pockets and wallets full of money. Coins are the most likely things that one can easily place in the pocket.

While during these recent times, there are more who are into filling up their wallets with paper money rather than coins because coins mean lesser value than paper money.

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Wear Red

Ever noticed why those business logos usually have red color in them? There's a proper explanation for this but the top one is that red color attracts wealth.

Thus, on New Year's Eve, we Filipinos have the conscious tendency of wearing red plus polka dots dresses.

Welcome Good Luck

As soon as it is almost New Year, all windows and doors of the house must be opened to welcome that good fortune and good luck into the household.

Aside from that, the lights should be on as well to ensure that no bad or evil spirit can stay inside. Lighted homes mean clear from the bad elements of the surrounding.

Jump for that Height

Filipinos are naturally short or average in height. Thus, there's a superstition that when New Year comes, one should be jumping their hearts out so that they'll become taller this year.

Video credits:  Pearl Yao via

Although I myself is not really sold on this.

Be Debt-Free Before New Year

Although quite a bit hard to fulfill, there's a superstition that it is a way of becoming closer to prosperity. Being on a state of debt-free means in the next year, you'll not have any reason to have debt.

This is again another mindset of prosperity for the Filipinos.

2. Food

New Year celebrations won't be complete without food of course. There are different beliefs on what's the best food to prepare when welcoming the New Year, here are just some of them which are available during Media Noche.

12 Round Fruits

There are 12 months in a year and these 12 round fruits represent each month. The bigger the fruit, the better. This signifies prosperity, health and wellness too so it is really recommended to have them laid on top of the table before New Year.

Also, these fruits shouldn't be eaten before New Year. It should be complete and abundant.

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No Chicken

I kept on asking my parents on this and they explained that chickens are animals which scratch for food from the ground and we don't want this to happen to us thus, it is very important not to prepare food with chicken in it especially chicken feet!

That is why most Filipino houses don't have Fried Chicken or any of its types during the celebration.

Sticky Rice

Good luck has to stick to us for the entire year thus, it is important to keep this recipe at hand. Preparation of sticky rice isn't that much complicated so most household could prepare them for the New Year.

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Sticky Rice or Biko in our native language is mainly made out of sticky rice, coconut juice, and brown sugar. These ingredients are very accessible to us Filipinos thus it has become a favorite thing to have for every specific event.


Surely, Pancit is the easiest dish that we Filipinos love. Still, it is an influence brought by the Chinese, the Filipinos have already learned to love it and even made different varieties of pancit.

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From Pancit canton to pancit guisado to even the bihon types! Pancit can either be stir-fried rice or flour noodles with vegetables, meat, seafood and mixed with soy sauce, sugar, and liver.

It is believed that eating Pancit means the Above will be blessing the person with a longer life.

3. Activities

As the clock strikes 12, New Year has been declared. There are lots of things that we Filipinos do in the few hours that the New Year has begun. Here's just a few.

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Again, this is an influence from the Chinese.

Firecrackers were created by the Chinese and have been used to scare away the bad spirits because of its banging sound and noise produced when it is lighted up. In the country, there's a lot of options to select on. But this year, it has been declared that there's a firecrackers ban but I was still able to see some towns in Cebu and Bohol with vendors selling these.

To name a few, Sinturon ni Hudas (Judas' belt), there's Super Lolo (Super Grandpa), Great Bawang (Great Garlic), how do you find those names? Aren't they hilarious? I, on the other hand, would only brave for the bengala fireworks because I know they don't hurt compared to the others.

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Horns and Others

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But using firecrackers is dangerous! Of course, that is true so it is better to use other materials which are safe for both young and adults. There are lots of other means and here are the others which we Filipinos use.

Horns are really friendly to children although they have a tendency of becoming really really noisy, it is allowed to make it sound in the New Year. Again to drive away bad elements.

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Pot covers and pots are alternatives too as we don't have to spend anything to create noise during the event. These pots are already there at the house and all ya'll need is to hit it with another metal material or use the cover and bang it with the actual pot.

Others, however, make noise by using drums and even tin cans! I recall a neighbor driving a motorcycle and dragging tin cans in a high way. It was crazy but it ended well.

Video credits: amadeusiom via

How about you? How do you usually spend the New Year?

Blog entry written and published by Jean Beltran-FiguesA Pinas traveler and photography hobbyist, find more travel blogs in my blog section, click here.

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