Last night, I tried researching on New Year's Traditions, in a way to rationalize the many (and sometimes confusing) New Year's Traditions that we have in the Philippines. Well, after some reading and discussions with the elders/experts, I came up with the feasible and kinda practical traditions that my family can observe as well, with of course, my Number 1 must have, Fresh Fruit Basket! :-)
13 Round Fruits on New Year's Eve
|New Year's Fruit Basket|
Apparently 13 fruits is better than the traditional 12! :-) This is because for our Chinese brothers and sisters, 13 is actually a luckier number. Why? From my research, the digit 1 when positioned in tens actually would sound like the word "definite" (shi) in Mandarin. While the digit 3 sounds like life, living or birth. Hence, the number 13, pronounces as "shisan", can mean "definitely vibrant" or "assured growth"! :-)
Today I visited the public market to avoid tomorrow's rush of fruit shopping that usually accompanies December 31. I wanted to get fresher fruit picks, and mostly avoid the traffic.
With some thoughts on my mother in law's practice of not getting fruits that actually grew from thorny trees and from vines (at least that touches the earth) such as watermelon, kiwi fruit, and honey dew, with the exception of grapes, although I couldn't find a basis just yet, I tried to make them my last picks.
With those in mind, I started my fruit collection...with majority of them with some special meaning, while the rest are the ones that are easily available at the fruit stands.
- Apples - said to symbolizes Peace
- Pineapple - although with pointed and sharped leaves, is said to be a popular wealth luck energizer! ;-) ...just gotta have it, and my son has a special tender for it, with it being Sponge Bob's home. :-)
- Pears - for Prosperity (oh by the way, they said that pears should not be shared or halved between lovers, friends etc....something about bringing separation!)
- Strawberries - symbolizes spring and rebirth; also for good health.
- Pomelo - for Family Unity especially when eaten together! ❤
- Oranges - symbolizes Abundant Happiness or prayer or wish of good fortune
- Grapes - actually a Spanish traditions says to eat 12 pcs. of grapes on New Year to bring 12 sweet months of good luck for the year ahead! In feng shui, grapes symbolize abundance of food, thus abundance of material wealth.
- Kiat Kiat or Mandarin Oranges - with its color and pronunciation in Chinese, said to symbolize fortune and luck and better to be placed in a separate basket! :-)
- Banana - offering for a wish of education, brilliance in work and education, and some related thoughts
- Dragon Fruit or better if available Pomegranate (which sadly I can't find in the local market) because it is said to represents fertility and happiness in the family
- Choice of other common tropical fruits or fruits in season such as Mangoes, Papaya, Star Apple or Caimito, Nuts or Chest Nuts, Sweet Tamarind, Coconut)
I'm done with my 11 fruits, just need to get 2 more fruits tomorrow! :-)
More than this tradition and among many others that we have, as always, it is still really the thought that counts! As cheesy as it may sounds, it's really what inside the ❤ that matters! It's the love and fervor we have that will bring happiness and good life. I come to believe that happiness is a state of mind -- think happy, feel happy and be happy! It's really what we make of life...Live, Laugh and Love! :-)
Would also love to hear from your traditions...who knows how many more possibilities are out there to make this festive occasion all the more colorful and exciting! :-)
Cheers!!! Happy New Year everyone! :-)