Woohoo! It’s now a few days before the start of 2018! Every Filipino, being, well, “Filipinos”, will surely embrace the festivities this coming January 1! (Hello! We celebrate Christmas from September to December!)
If you have been abroad for quite some time or if you’re a foreigner celebrating your first Filipino New Year, expect to be culture shocked as it might get a lot crazy.
These are things you need to watch out this New Year! *Cue Festive Music*
A Lot of Noise and Partying
Here comes the partying! Expect the streets during December 31 to be as noisy as ever. The Filipinos believe that the noise will drive the spirits away.
Karaoke Marathons are a thing. People can sing 14 hours straight. Hear multiple renditions of “I did it My Way” as we wait for the coming year.
Also, blow your “torotots” out as we anticipate fireworks when the clock strikes twelve. (Although, it might be lesser this year due to the fircracker ban).
Unleash the inner noise machine in you!
Just like Christmas, the anticipation comes from the “Bisperas ng Bagong Taon“ or New Year’s Eve. The night is capped with a sumptuous dinner with your family and friends called “Media Noche”.
But amidst this mouth-watering buffet, the food presented is not entirely random. There are certain dishes with symbolic meaning for the coming year.
For instance, the abundance of round fruits in the Media Noche centerpiece is not just because of healthy eating. The 12 round fruits represent prosperity all year “round” (pun intended).
And then there is the various “kakanin“. These sticky rice variants will keep your family relationship “stick” strongly throughout the year.
We also don’t serve fish or chicken. Chickens peck the ground to eat and fish is associated with the poor. I know your Sea Bass is expensive, but expect to eat a lot of meat this New Year!
Lastly, what’s the use of prosperity when you pass away from disease? The “Pancit” will save you on this day. This Chinese-inspired belief says that this noodle dish will give you a longer and healthier life.
A Bounty of Circles and Jumping
Can’t get enough of circles?
You will not only see circular fruits this day but also people dressed in circular patterns. Apparently, regardless of fashion, polka dots are in this New Year! It will bring the same prosperity for the coming months.
After praying for your fashion faux pas, jump as high as possible! This is believed to bring you more inches to your height.
It sounds not normal, but there is no harm in trying. *Jumps*
The Filipinos have many superstitions this New Year. With this, I hope you are prepared to party! Have a prosperous 2018 ahead.