01 January 2009

celebrating a Filipino New Year

The ball has dropped. The revelry is over.

2008 has come and gone.

But that doesn't mean my parents can let my...shall we say...imperfections slide.

One thing I have learned is that Filipinos are a superstitious lot.

So over holiday brunch, Lola and Lolo2Amara quizzed me on how my family celebrated the evening before.

I dutifully answered that we each ate 12 grapes at the strike of midnight. I knew each grape represented prosperity in every month of 2009.

But my Filipino parents shook their heads at me.

Did I have money in my pocket? Apparently a full wallet meant a year of wealth.

Did we eat pancit? Long noodles mean a long life. (To my credit, I did serve lo mein at brunch today.)


Wasn't it enough that I had cleaned the Grey House and finished all the ironing so that I would not have a dirty home for the next few months?

All of the doors and windows needed to be open to allow good blessings easy access to my home. (I wonder, is that the Pinoy version of feng shui?)

My dad said all of the lights needed to be turned on. This would light our way in 2009.

And my black little number on New Year's Eve was inappropriate according to Filipino superstition. I should have donned polka dots to bring my family money. The polka dots provide a fashion metaphor for coins.

My mom said we should have had Amara jump at midnight. This would mean my five-year-old daughter would not be destined for Filipino shortness. Jumping would make her grow taller.

The superstitions went on and on.

By the end of our meal, my head was spinning.

Who knew celebrating a holiday was so complicated?

But if there's one thing I have found...Filipinos know how to party. So we must be doing something right!

Happy New Year!


photo credit lcg2001


Hazel Designs said...

Sooo funny, because I made sure all the lights in my house were turned on, even the basement bathroom. Mr Hazel looked at me like I was nuts. I was also going to wear polka dots today but I completely forgot. I hope that doesn't bode ill...

The other superstition I know about is to make lots of noise at the stroke of midnight to drive evil spirits away (I think we get this from the Chinese).

mamazilla said...

wow! i've never done/known/practiced any of these superstitions.... and still life has been good! ;)

Jen said...

LOL! Brings back some memories. I think there's a Filipino superstition for everything.

Nicki said...

Cool superstitions! Did they do all that stuff with you when you were little? I love hearing how people of other cultures and backgrounds celebrate different things! Jimmy's mom just told us about Korean Halloween, which is in January and is sort of like Dia De Los Muertos! Fascinating tome!

Asianmommy said...

Wow--that's a lot to remember. Wearing polka dots would be fun. Happy 2009!