13 round fruits, nye traditions
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New Year’s Eve Traditions

Christmas (and my birthday) has come and gone. And in a few days, we welcome the New Year. I love this time of year because it’s a new beginning – new hopes and new dreams. We set new goals to achieve and we wish for the best the new year can bring. It doesn’t hurt to do fun, hopeful, and silly things in the spirit of tradition. So I’m here to share with you some of the New Year’s Eve Traditions we love to do!

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I. 12 Grapes on a Stick

I read about this NYE tradition a few years ago. Since then, I try to do them each New Year. Basically, you stick 12 grapes on a bamboo stick. Each person gets to eat one stick on New Year. Each grape represents each month of the year. So the first grape you eat (starting from the top) is for January, the next grape is for February, and so on. If the grape you ate is sweet, then it’s going to be a sweet month for you. If it’s bland, then there’s nothing special going on that month. If it’s sour or bitter, then it’s not gonna be a good month. It may sound silly, and of course, we know you make your own future, not the grapes. But isn’t the concept fun – trying to taste what your month’s gonna look like and talking about it amongst yourselves? Yes!

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On a side note, serve the grapes on a flute or champagne glass and have the bubbly ready after you eat your grapes! May I suggest the limited edition Chandon x Rebecca Minkoff bottle? Oh the fashion-obsessed in you will want to pick a bottle or two even just to display on your bar cart! They are sold out online but you can find them at select liquor stores nationwide.

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II. 13 Round Fruits

Another tradition that my family has been practicing since I was in my mother’s womb is putting 13 round (or roundish) fruits on the table. This is a popular Philippine tradition during the New Year. Others serve 12, others serve 13. If I’m not mistaken, the 13 is from the Chinese tradition, because 13 for them is actually a lucky number. The round fruits signify abundance and prosperity in the coming year. The round shape symbolizes coins – money.

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For 2017, this is how my fruit tray looks like. I put mine on a tray this year because I don’t have a large enough round serving platter which is what’s commonly used. I may have to do a last-minute Home Goods run if I get bothered by it. Hehe. Which reminds me… I may have to grab a pomegranate or kiwi to replace the lime too. Others follow a “sweet fruits” only rule, leaving out the sour ones like lemons and limes. But hey, sometimes sour is also good, right?

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III. Serve and Eat Round Sweet Foods

You’re already serving round fruits. So while you’re at it, serve all types of round foods too – especially the sweet ones! One of the most common is the Philippine delicacy bilo-bilo or palitaw – a kind of sweet rice cake that’s boiled and floats up when cooked. But you can also serve and eat round chocolates and other desserts too.

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Bonus points for smiley emojis, right? Lindt is a genius!

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IV. Put money on all of your pockets

Another common NYE tradition in the Philippines is that you have to wear something with pockets and make sure to fill them up with money. Put your wallet, put bills, put coins. Just make sure you don’t have an empty pocket so you’ll have money all year long!

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V. Decorate and Wear the Color of the Year

A few years ago, I started a fun tradition for our family to wear the Pantone Color of the Year for New Year’s Eve or New Year. It’s just fun to do and something I made up because I love to dress up my family in the coming color of the year. But keep in mind, this is different from the lucky colors of the year based on Feng Shui or Chinese astrology. Below, I listed other NYE traditions of what to wear:

  • This 2017, the lucky colors are yellow, gold, and brown. While we will follow that on Chinese New Year (January 28), most people will already wear those lucky colors for January 1.
  • There’s also the “wear something polka dot” to symbolize coins or money. You don’t have to be all decked out in dots. A few years ago, I wore polka dot socks. Another time, I wore polka dot undies. Hehe. So as long as you’re wearing something polka dot, that’s perfectly fine.
  • For the Chinese people, usually, they wear red for good luck on New Year’s Eve. So you can definitely go that route too.
  • Other people will wear green (which coincidentally is the Pantone Color of 2017) to symbolize money (dollar dollar bills baby).

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This 2017, Pantone color of the year is Greenery. This is just a sneak peek of the green additions in our living room, but I’ll be posting more about it soon in another post. But in case you were wondering about some of the pieces here, I’ve listed them with their links below:

VI. Clean Home and Well-stocked Pantry

Aside from decorating the home, another tradition we like to do is keep the whole house clean before NYE and make sure the pantry and food containers are well stocked or full. Again, this signifies abundance and prosperity for the coming year.

VII. Do What You Love on New Year’s Day

There’s a popular belief in the Philippines that whatever you’re doing on New Year’s Day, you’ll be doing the rest of the year. So don’t be doing laundry because then, you’ll be doing laundry the whole year… haha… unless of course you want to do that. So do fun things that you like. Want to spend more quality time with your loved ones? Then do that. Want to travel? A quick getaway can inspire your travel plans the rest of the year!

Hope you enjoyed some of the New Year’s Eve Traditions that I shared with you. And I hope it inspires your New Year preparations. How about you? What traditions do you and your family follow? I’d love to know and maybe add to our traditions too. Wishing you all the best 2017 has to offer. Have a Prosperous and Peaceful New Year!

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