We all have our own superstitions and hocus pocus regarding the new year. But generally, here in Manila, these are the ones that we need to do before the New Year:
- Trim your nails – it’s bad luck to cut anything once the new year rolls in, it’s like cutting off your New Year luck – apparently, luck restarts every year – so you can’t trim your nails until, oh, the third week of January? While you’re at it, why not get a mani / pedi in a lucky red hue?
- Get a haircut – same thing as above. Greet the new year looking nice!
- Deep-clean your house – no sweeping anything right after the New Year! It’s like sweeping away your good luck! See explanation above.
- Buy new underwear to wear on New Year’s Eve – preferably buy underwear with red polka dots.
- Buy something new to wear on New Year’s Eve (shirt, dress, etc…) – again, preferably of the red polka dot variety.
- Buy round fruits like kiat kiat, ponkan, oranges, grapes, melons, watermelons, etc… – they are lucky!
- Buy your preferred anting-anting (good luck charm) this can be a good luck figurine, a good luck necklace, lucky charm, etc…
- Check for broken things and repair them if you can. Otherwise, toss them. Having broken things around is bad feng shui.
- Check your closet:
- throw out old ratty underwear; buy new ones if needed
- repair clothes that need it – sew back missing buttons, adjust hems, etc…
- worn-out clothes, old towels, sheets, blankets:
- do you want to use them as pambahay (house clothes)? some old shirts are incredibly comfortable;
- you can cut them up and use them as rags
- give away or donate if they are still usable
- buy new stuff to replace those that you tossed, if needed
- stuff you don’t want anymore – give away, donate to charity
- Have clean sheets and blankets ready (this is not superstition, but it’s just me) – New Year’s Eve in Manila is not New Year’s Eve without everyone and his grandmother lighting up firecrackers. After the smog has settled, I change the sheets. It doesn’t matter how much you try to keep the firecracker dust away, they always find a way in.
Have you finished your New Year prep?
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The Barat Queen
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