Happy New Year and some quirky customs!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic new year’s eve celebration and a fantastic start to 2013.  As with our new year’s eve celebration, it is always a quiet one spent with family. We huddle around the TV, drink in hand, nibbles near by and watch the fireworks go off at 9pm then again at midnight. It’s quiet at home but I love that we get to spend it with our loved ones. It’s also almost difficult to get a great vantage point to watch the fireworks.  Roads are closed off and some people camp out to for a couple of days to get the best spot. Did you know that Sydney’s NYE fireworks is the most watched fireworks in the world? Maybe it’s the location.  I think it’s amazing.

With NYE dinner, we decided to eat a little lighter having just had the Christmas dinner a week before. Being Filipino, during these festivities, we tend to serve big and eat a lot. There is almost no eating on the dining table as it’s always covered from end to end with plates of dishes. We get a little over zealous with the servings and there are always plenty of leftovers. It has its pros and cons. You don’t need to cook for the next few days but you will get a little tired of eating the same thing everyday.

Read bottom of post for fun, interesting customs celebrated during new year’s eve in the Philippines. 

We served up light healthy(ish) dishes this time around.

caesar-salad

My take on caesar salad. I went with a mixture of green leaves rather than the usual cos lettuce for a little more variety.  There’s rocket in there which I just love.  The eggs and bacon are buried in there somewhere and of course croutons.

mini-sushi-rolls

My mum’s mini sushi rolls. So yummy and healthy I couldn’t stop eating these. There was a mixture of tuna & corn, salmon & avocado and seaweed salad.

japchae

Another one from mum – Japchae. A traditional Korean dish made with glass noodles (sweet potato noodles).  Mum added fish cakes and shiitake mushrooms.

chicken-penne-

Chicken penne with cream milk sauce, mushrooms, snow peas, dijon and hot english mustard cooked by my brother-in-law.  A very nice and light pasta meal.

smoked-salmon

A smoked salmon platter with dill, spanish onions and capers prepared by my brother-in-law. Another one I couldn’t stop eating that night.

ham

Ham glazed with apricot and brandy, with orange juice and sugar.  Another one prepared by my brother-in-law.  This one inspired by Curtis Stone.

brownies

My brownies with round milk and white chocolates. It’s a Filipino custom to use, present or wear something round or with polka dots during NYE to represent prosperity.

oreo-cheesecake

Oreo cheesecake by yours truly (I will post recipe for this at a later time).  Here the Oreos are round, again to signify prosperity.  I hadn’t thought about that significance whilst I was making the cheesecake but I’m glad I made it.

Here are some more interesting (or weird) traditions and superstitions that Filipino’s follow during NYE:

- Noodles are almost always served to represent longevity.
- Any dishes that are sticky should be served so good fortune  will “stick” around for the year.
- 12 round fruits are displayed; 12 indicates the months in the year and round to indicate good fortune.
- To scare off evil spirits, pots and pans are clanged.  Cars and trucks make as much noise as possible with their horns.  It’s the noisiest time of the year.
- To bring in good luck, all doors, windows and cupboards must be left open. All lights must be switched on so that the new year is bright.
- Children jump as high as they can at the stroke of midnight.  There is a belief that they will grow taller (didn’t work for me, I’m still 5’2).

Cheers to 2012 – bring on more fun times, prosperity, love, blessing and happiness to 2013!

So, how did you all spend new year’s eve and new year’s day?

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