It surprises me sometimes. Living in a country such as this, where many people complain of extreme poverty, harsh economic conditions and the like, one can only wonder how we can celebrate the New Year so extravagantly.
These were the thoughts running through my mind as I watched the fireworks display by our neighbors in the subdivision. It's not like these guys are rich, they're middle class folk like me who probably balk at the cost of food or furniture or appliances but are now burning away thousands of pesos worth of fireworks, all for a single midnight of revelry. It's completely irrational yet understandably so. A typical Pinoy mentality, "minsan lang naman, sa bagong taon lang."
Our household has been light on fireworks for a long time. I think I was still in elementary school the last time we had any sort of pyrotechnics, we were always content to feast our eyes and ears on the neighborhood displays. What my father did one year, as midnight was approaching he brought out a tape recorder and made a recording of the New Year noise. On succeeding years we would bring out a large cassette player and play that tape a full volume, our own thrifty contribution to the din of welcoming the New Year.
The following are some superstitions we observe as the New Year chimes in:
- Carrying coins in your pocket to ensure enough cash for the coming year
- Throwing said coins through the doorway to ensure good fortune coming into the house
- Having a basket of ten fruits (must be round, no bananas)
- Jumping up and down at the stroke of midnight to grow taller during the year. (Not that we do this anymore, since we're all quite tall now)
- Wearing red or polka dots (or both) clothes. No matter how old mind you. I don't think I've had a new red shirt in years.
Hm, not as many as I thought. 😀
Happy New Year!