24 Weird Filipino Superstitious Beliefs during New Year

Superstitious beliefs, folk traditions or ( pamahiin) associated with New Year’s eve and New Year’s day is common in the Philippines. Most of the common superstitions  are influenced by the Chinese, Malays, Indians, Japanese, Hispanic and American.

Most of these superstitious beliefs were incorporated in our rich culture and is practiced by Filipinos one way or the other. Some of these traditions are widely practiced by the general public, some are discreetly followed.

24 Weird Filipino Superstitious Beliefs

Preparation for New Year’s Eve (Food) 

round fruits

1.) Preparation of 12 round fruits- one fruit symbolizes each month of the coming year. Adding one or two more rounded fruits will help bring prosperity in the coming year. This explains why the prices of fruits especially the round ones would rise between 20% to as much as 40% during this time of the year.

2.) Having green plants or eating something green will help brings money, better health and fertility for the people living in the house.


3.)  Have a round grape in your mouth at the stroke of midnight, For extra luck, eat 12 pieces of grapes within the first 12 seconds of the New Year. A number of Filipinos practice this tradition. This was introduced by the Mexican -Spaniards in the late 16th century.

4.) Serving 12 dishes or more during Media Noche indicates the bounty and prosperity for the entire year.


5.) Serving noodles dish for long life among the people living in the house.

6.) Serving sticky rice cakes ( kakanins ) which bound the family together and the community. This is also practice to give kakanins to neighbors and close friends in order to foster good lasting relationships.

7.) Avoid serving chicken or fish. They are associated with the scarcity of food.

8.) The rice storage jar should not be allowed to become empty. The explanation is that having an empty rice container will mean that you will have an empty life for the whole year.  Another folk belief is putting unmilled rice husk on one’s door way which invites good chi.

Preparation for New Year Eve

fire crackers
9.) Clean everything inside and outside of one’s home. This reflects strong Chinese and Malay influences in the culture.

10.) Make as much noise as you can to scare away unseen evil spirits and using of firecracker near one’s doorstep or outside the house.

11.) Turn on all lights inside and even outside one’s house so that the coming year is bright.

12.) Opening all doors, windows, cabinets and drawers to let good fortune in.

13.) Debts must be paid off and try to fill your wallet with fresh crispy peso bills. People believe that whatever your financial state is in at the stroke of midnight, so it will be in the new year. People must also avoid lending money during this time of the year.

polka dot dress

14.)  Wearing polka-dots dress. Anything round signifies prosperity and invitation for better life on the following year.


15.)  At the stroke of midnight, people tend to scatter coins around the house, the normal procedure is to scatter the coins going inside the house and places where one is keeping the money.

16. ) Jump twelve times at midnight to increase your height.  This is done by children to increase their height.

New Year’s Day

17.)  Do not clean anything inside or outside you house.  You might sweep away the good fortune that came in on New Year’s Eve.

Superstitious Beliefs

18.) Don’t spend money at all. Spending money or lending money on the first day of the year is not a good thing.

19.) Avoid wearing black or white dress . People are encouraged to wear bright colors like red, pink, green or any new dress. White and black symbolizes mourning in many Asian countries.

20.) Avoid washing hair and combing one’s hair to avoid bringing bad luck for the entire year.

21.)  The use of needles , knife , scissors or any sharp objects would lead to inauspicious things and depletion of wealth in the coming year.

22.) Avoid breaking glassware or plates during new year as this would invite bad luck for the entire year.

Superstitious Beliefs

23.) Doing the laundry brings death , washing of one’s laundry during the first day of the year must not be observed. This is heavily influenced by Chinese and other Southeast Asian countries which observe this superstitious belief.

24.) Putting 12 round grapes or fruits in one’s main entrance or master bedroom would invite prosperity, fertility and longevity within one household. This reflect strong Chinese influence in our culture.

Do you have any superstitious beliefs that your family observe during New Year? Try to share with us.


Rence Chan

writer and contributor

social media writer, food lover, heritage advocate, philatelist , deltiologist , numismatist , notaphilist , toy collector, key chain collector, bibliophile , orchid fancier , plant lover , environmental advocate, freshwater aquarium fish hobbyist, tour consultant, memorabilia and art connoisseur.