Food PH Trivia Travel Guide

Filipino New Year Food Traditions: What You Can Prepare For Your Visitor

\Filipino New Year FoodsDo you love Filipino foods and wondering what are their secret recipes are? Do you know what are the Filipino new year food traditions?

When it comes to the holiday season, Filipinos are known to have the longest celebration for Christmas and New year around the world. For those who don’t know, the Philippines has the longest time when it comes to celebrating the holiday season. This starts as early as September until January at the end of the year. Celebrating Christmas and New Year is also a very special event for all Filipino families. This is a one-time experience to celebrate a family reunion, bonding with childhood friends, bonding with your children and your parents. The time that most of the families become complete again. During holidays in the Philippines, there is also a holiday break for everyone. Especially for those who are working and for those who are attending schools.

Filipino knows how to spend holidays too well. This is why a lot of people and tourists outside the Philippines are amazed at how Filipinos celebrate and spend the holiday season. They have a lot of traditions when celebrating holidays. From jumping high many times in a hope of getting taller. For wearing polka dots during New Year because they believed that it will bring wealth and prosperity throughout the year. And preparing the traditional foods that they believed to give you a long life. Below is the list of some traditional foods that are commonly prepared and served during New Year’s Eve. 

Traditional Food Prepared During New Year

1. Preparing 12 Different Round Fruits

This is one of the common foods being prepared in the New Year. Filipinos believe that preparing 12 different round fruits brings you wealth and prosperity throughout the year. The 12 numbers represent the number of months in a year, while the round shapes represent wealth and prosperity believed to bring you wealth and prosperity throughout the year. Having the twelve fruits on New Year’s Eve is influenced by the Chinese. And each of the fruits will bring you specific luck. However, they believed that pineapple is the luckiest fruit, in Chinese pineapple name is “ ong-lai” which means “fortune is coming your way”.

There are a lot of people who do this kind of thing for they believe that it will bring luck to them. Filipinos believe in this kind of tradition, as this has a big part in the culture of the country. 

2. Eating Pancit and Other Pasta Recipe

Preparing long noodles like Pancit and spaghetti is one of the most common foods on every occasion in the Philippines. Even during New year, you can find Pancit and any type of noodles in every house. They believe that eating Pancit and other long noodles will give you long life and good health. Its long strands symbolize longevity. They have different types of recipes and menus for preparing noodles and pasta. Pancit Bihon, Filipino Style Spaghetti, Pancit Palabok, and carbonara are the most prepared pasta and noodle recipes

3. Preparing Sticky Rice Cakes

Preparing sticky foods like rice cakes is one of the traditional foods in the Philippines that symbolizes a welcoming New Year. Since this is a common Filipino delicacy, you can just find it easily and buy it at an affordable price. This type of food is the oldest food prepared during New Year in the Philippines.

Filipinos believe that preparing and eating sticky food on new years eve will help to strengthen the family, develop a strong bond, and improve the relationship of the family. Because of its sticky texture, the food is also believed that it will attract good fortune and stick with you throughout the year. Here are some of the traditional sticky food such as biko, puto, kutsinta, palitaw, suman, bibingka, puto bumbong, maja blanca and many more. 

4. Grilled Fish



Fish is the traditional food considered to be the lucky food on new years eve. The fish symbolizes prosperity and abundance because it lays a lot of eggs and swims in groups. The fish scale symbolizes the coins. While the fish’s way of swimming in the sea is forward, that means growth, improvement, and a better life. 

So, most of the Filipinos try to have their in best to have this on their table when New Year’s eve starts. You can get different fish for you to grill and serve at your table. You can get a side dish for this, most Filipinos try to enhance its flavor for a tasteful fish. 

5. Lechon

Lechon is the main star of any celebration of every Filipino. Indeed, lechon means roasted pig, the way it cooks is that they stick it in a bamboo pole through the pig’s body and roast it slowly in live charcoal. Many believe that having lechon on New Year’s Eve also brings luck. The whole size of the body’s pig symbolizes prosperity. While the way their nose moves from the ground moving forward and upward represents rising from difficulties and achieving success.

Cebu is the place where lechon is very popular for the people. Even Christmas or New years eve, lechon is available to this place. There are a lot of people who can feel that it’s already New year in their place as there are many stalls you can visit to buy lechon. The Lechon food features many food books and even the history of the country. 

Photo Credits to Pinterest

6. Lumpia

Celebrating an occasion without preparing Lumpia or spring roll is boring for all Filipinos. This is the best dish for all occasions and the most food always looked for by the visitors. Just like when you prepare lechon, lumpia is also the superstar of the occasion. This is not only served on every occasion but you can make this recipe as your dish to your every meal. Preparing Lumpia is also believed to be the lucky food on New Year’s Eve. To make lumpia, you need to prepare all the needed ingredients and combine them all together. The way it was make symbolizes improving the family’s cooperation and unity all throughout the year. 

Aside from new year’s eve, this can be found as well on various occasions. People who wish to make their birthdays more special serves lumpia. The fact is you can serve this either for adult’s birthdays or to your kids. 

7. Nuts and Seeds and Green Vegetables

This also belongs to the lucky food that you must have on your table during new years eve. Nuts and seeds symbolize fertility while the green vegetables represent money and fortune because of their color. Even though you can prepare these foods for your everyday meal. Eating this food makes you lucky not because of its superstitious beliefs. The foods make you lucky because the foods are very healthy and it’s good for your body. You can eat this more often not only during holidays especially in the new year but all throughout the year. I think being healthy is the most important of all in this makes you luckier.

8. Rice 

Aside from the sticky rice to make sure that the bond of the family will stick together, a bowl of regular rice well is the best. There are a lot of people especially from our ancestors believe that when you have this during new year’s eve, you can produce wealth. You will be able to have a great income for the whole family. This is the reason why a lot of people try to have grains and put some money on top of it. 

Also, people try to put fruits on top of the grains as they believe that this would bring an abundance of money. Another, it is said that it would bring good health to the whole family. 

Badluck Traditional Foods For New Year

Despite the lucky foods commonly prepared as the Filipino food tradition for New Year. There are also some foods that according to ancestors Filipino’s should not eat as it brings bad luck. 


Many Filipinos believe that when you prepare chicken on new years eve brings hardships and poverty throughout the year. They believe if you eat the chicken it brings you bad luck because of the way it scratches the soil backward and bites their food which is to bring you poverty. During the holidays chicken business has slumps sales because of the superstitious belief of the Filipinos. However, other people do not believe in this kind of superstitious belief instead they choose chicken to prepare pork. 

Most of the people try various dishes with the main ingredients of pork. They are looking for an alternative. However, in some parts of the country, they would prepare chicken as well. 

Bread, Tofu, Eggs


According to Chinese ancient beliefs preparing foods that are all white in color is one of the unlucky food to eat and prepare during new years eve. All white symbolizes death. However, some Filipinos, choose to prepare eggs on the table because of their round shape. This is like the round fruits, it symbolizes prosperity and wealth throughout the year. 


Many believe that lobsters can be unlucky to eat during new years eve because of the way of its movements as they swim backward it is possible that bad luck is a setback throughout the year. Lobster is one of the most delicious seafood in the world. Thus, for special occasions such as Christmas and also New year’s eve, it is one of the best food to have. 

Hence, this food serves as one of the bad luck food for the new year for most Filipinos. There are beliefs from our ancestors about this food. Some plates of seafood are not that recommended to be served during this season. 

Final thoughts

The holiday season is a very special season for all Filipinos to celebrate with their family. During this season there are a lot of fun activities and bonding moments for every family. Filipinos have a lot of traditional foods prepared when celebrating New Year’s Eve. And Most of the food is undoubtedly delicious and colorful like a feast. In the Philippines, there are a  lot of tradition and superstitious belief that they think this will help them and bring them best luck.

During the holiday, especially on New Year’s Eve, they have so many traditional activities they believed to help them in the future, like wearing polka dots, jumping for many times making noise, tossing a coin, and preparing some delicious foods that believe to bring them luck and fortune throughout the year. Round fruits, sticky food or sticky rice cake, noodle and pasta, lechon, lumpia, and grilled fish are one of those recipes they believe to bring them luck. On the other hand, if there is food that brings luck, there are also foods that most Filipinos avoid it to eat and prepare on new years eve. 

These are chicken, tofu, eggs, bread, rice, and lobsters. However, always remember that fortune and luck will not come to you by just eating those kinds of lucky food. Do not rely on your luck in the superstitious belief, luck will come to you if you work hard for it. Whether the foods give you luck or not it is important that you take the food in moderation to avoid health issues. Knowing the fact that most Filipino foods are delicious, instead of having a bit of good luck, will bring you bad luck if you do not take the food in a moderate way.

For instance, you ate too much during the holidays, this action will take your health at risk. You need to be mindful of what food you eat and how much food you eat. Through this, you will enjoy your holidays with your family, friends, and love ones without worrying about your health. This would be the true meaning of luck. What are your thoughts about these various foods? What are you preparing for New Year’s eve? Would you mind trying one of these dishes during New Year’s eve?

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