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Filipino New Year Traditions

Filipino New Year Traditions

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Published by Ramon T. Ayco
Filipinos literally start the year with a bang. Just a few days before New Year, you can hear the booming and banging of firecrackers everywhere. Aside from lighting firecrackers and having firework displays, Filipinos have other beliefs and practices which are associated and believed to bring good luck, fortune, and prosperity in the New Year.
Filipinos literally start the year with a bang. Just a few days before New Year, you can hear the booming and banging of firecrackers everywhere. Aside from lighting firecrackers and having firework displays, Filipinos have other beliefs and practices which are associated and believed to bring good luck, fortune, and prosperity in the New Year.

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Published by: Ramon T. Ayco on Aug 31, 2010
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01/16/2013

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Filipino New Year Traditions
by Ramon T. Ayco
 January 2009(First publish in
Pinoy Reporter 
’   
 s
Culture Column, January 2009 issue.)
Reminiscing New Year duringchildhood is so happy and veryrefreshing for me, including thoseadventurous experiences that almostbroke my limbs or even loss my lifefor the sake of welcoming New Yearmerrily. I have experienced my faceblown out by a bamboo canon whileblowing on its hole to put oxygen onit. For many times, I have alsoexperienced
 “
rebentador
” (the most
popular local firecracker) explodes onmy hands. But I survived with allparts of my body still intact.Filipinos literally start the year witha bang. Just a few days beforeNew Year, you can hear thebooming and banging of firecrackers everywhere. And thereare lots of sidewalk vendors sellingdifferent kinds of firecrackers like
Super Lolo, Super Pla Pla,Triangulo (triangularly shaped firecrackers)
,
Bawang, Sinturon ni  Judas (Judas Belt), Jumbo Fountain, Whiste Bomb, best selling firecrackerslike Baby Rockets (Kuwitis), Luisis ,Watusi, Bulalakaw (Comets)
just to namea few.In spite of the yearly ban on firecrackers, because of a number of accidentscaused by firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices that have resulted in the lossof lives, limbs and properties, still many Filipinos see lighting of firecrackersas the traditional means to greet and celebrate the New Year.The booming and banging of firecrackers in the New Year Eve starts fewer inthe morning then becomes many and louder like a crescendo of rain as timegoes on. At the strike of 12:00 midnight, the noise becomes deafening,church-bells rings , firecrackers rules the sky, kids gaping in awe as they see
 
the different firecrackers, blooming in the sky. The booming and bangingrise to a climax which includes clanging of old pots and pans, blowing jeep,car or tricycle horns, ambulance sirens for full one minute as the countdownto New Year. Around 12:15 am, the noise stops and the air will be filledwith human voice.The fireworks and the loud noises and sounds of merrymaking are not onlymeant to celebrate the coming of the New Year but are also supposed todrive away bad spirits.Modern aerial fireworks display is now being added as a new attraction inthe country
’s Christmas and New Year celebrations
. This and the recent firstWorld Pro Olympics which took place in The Esplanade at the back of SMMall of Asia in Pasay City from December 26 to 30, has raised fireworks toan art form.Aside from lighting firecrackers and having firework displays, Filipinos haveother beliefs and practices which are associated and believed to bring goodluck, fortune, and prosperity in the New Year.It is believed that one could affectthe luck they would have throughoutthe coming year by what they did orate on the first day of the year.For that reason, it has becomecommon to celebrate the first fewminutes of a new year with familyand friends through a feast called
Media Noche
. It is believe that weshould put as much food on thetable so that next year you will havefood all year round. Twelve roundfruits should be on the table as it isa sign of prosperity for the nexttwelve months.It is also a favorite thing to do with children, is to jump twelve times so theywill get taller next year the higher you jump the taller you grow. When I wasa child, I always jump while singing so that I will grow taller and become agood singer at the same time. Indeed, luckily I become a good singer(ehem) but unfortunately
stop growing at 5’ 
-
2”.
One of my friends told methat my real height must be five feet but because of jumping (on New Year)I
’ve
got an additional two inches (yehey).

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