Thursday, December 29, 2011

For Good Luck In The New Year

A variety of practices and foods are believed to be lucky and improves the odds that next year will be a great one. Traditions vary from culture to culture. Growing up in the Philippines the following are traditions that stuck with me.  Although I am not a superstitious kind of person I usually do a couple or more just for the fun of it.

1) Fruit platter : For good luck, I believe this is of Chinese origin, my sister prepared a big platter of fruits on the table, filled with 12 varieties of fruits. They must be all round, or almost round. In the mix are grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, lanzones, apples, oranges, etc.

2) Grapes :  Apart from the ones used on the fruit platter, my sister hangs grapes on top of doors and windows.  Supposedly it's for prosperity, a symbolism of more money coming in.  By the way, I just read that   in Spain, people consume twelve grapes at midnight—one grape for each stroke of the clock, each grape representing a different month.  For instance if the second grape is sour it means February will be an unpleasant month.  And in Peru, people eat a 13th grape for good measure.

3) Jumping : We Filipinos are typically short so it isn't a surprise that every Filipino I know practice the tradition of jumping at the strike of midnight.... to grow taller in the next year! Ha!  I think it is ridiculous, but it is actually fun seeing everyone jumping.

4) Coins for prosperity.  My sister scatters coins on the window sill, and makes sure everyone in the family have coins in their pockets.

5) Clothes : wear polka dots and yellow clothing for prosperity, red for love, green for good health.

6) Do NOT eat chicken or you will live a 'hand to mouth' or paycheck to paycheck life.  In Tagalog we say, "isang kahig, isang tuka" like chickens do.

7) Carry a backpack for more chances of travelling abroad.

8) Clean and get things organized on New Year's Eve.  I think this is more because we like to have a clean and fresh start in the New Year.

9) Try hard NOT to spend anything on the 1st or you'll be spending everyday in the year.  Try to get money IN instead.

10) This year I am trying something new.  I will make lentils and sausage as suggested for good luck here.

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