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New Year’s Eve traditions

Manila, Philippines – Well-preserved New Year’s Eve traditions will be observed tonight across the country despite the hard times caused by the rising cost of living and natural and man-made disasters.

The customs and traditions that have been passed on from generations are, after all, generally intended to ward off misfortunes and invite good luck, good health, and prosperity hopeful for a better year in 2014.

Shortly before and at the stroke of midnight, loud, deafening noises coming from firecracker explosions, and sounds of merrymaking to ward off evil spirits and bad luck will, once again, fill the air despite the yearly ban on big firecrackers and the Department of Health’s call for safer noise-making alternatives. Many cities and municipalities, with the help of the local government, will also hold a New Year’s Eve countdown to be highlighted by a fireworks spectacle.

Simpler celebrations, however, are expected this year in deference to the victims of typhoon “Yolanda” in Central Visayas and the strong earthquake in Bohol.

In many homes, a basket of 12 circular fruits will form part of the centerpiece on dining tables for prosperity in each of the 12 months of the coming year. Many will be eating round fruits while wearing clothes with polka dots or anything that has circles on it for good fortune. (Christina I. Hermoso)