Tikoy and Other Filipino Traditions for Chinese New Year You Should Know About

Most Pinoy Chinese know it’s the time of the year when their friends ask them for Tikoy after greeting them with “Kong Hei Fat Choi.” This just shows that Chinese New Year is looked forward to by Filipinos. But beyond Tikoy preparation, Filipinos have more nuanced traditions as they celebrate Chinese New Year. 

Photo from Newsweek
  1. Color Red

One of the most commonly observed during the Chinese New Year Celebration is the constant use of red—in clothes, candles, and the interior design of the house. This is because they believe that the color red is a symbol of good luck, energy, and happiness. So, to manifest the mentioned good qualities of life for the entire year, the Chinese start their year by wearing red.

Photo from BBC
  1. Giving of Ang Pao

Ang Paos are red envelopes with printed Chinese characters in front where money bills are placed. During Chinese New Year, they are given as gifts, most especially to children. Contrary to the common belief that Ang Paos are only envelopes for money, in Chinese, it symbolizes good luck and long life. 

Photo from Lifestyle Asia

However, it should be noted that the amount of money placed inside the Ang Pao should be in even numbers because, for the Chinese, odd numbers are associated with funerals.

  1. Dancing Dragons and Lions

Dancing Dragons and Lions are often seen in establishments. From an external perspective, they might be performing for pure entertainment. However, in Chinese traditions, dragons symbolize wisdom, power, and wealth. Meanwhile, lions stand for power, wisdom, and superiority. When both are combined for a dance, they bring good luck and prosperity. 

Photo from South China Morning Post
  1. New Year’s Eve Dinner 

Food is one of the important traditions in celebrating Chinese New Year, and more often than not, each food served at the table has its corresponding significance for the occasion.

Rice cakes and noodles signify success and prosperity. For personal relationships with family and friends, these signify a stronger bond throughout the year. Noodles also mean a long and happy life.

Photo from Tatler Asia
  1. Fireworks 

Aside from food preparation, the Chinese also believed that bright and loud fireworks make the start of the Chinese New Year a luckier year. They also believe that fireworks drive away bad luck and evil spirits. 

Photo from South China Morning Post

Despite the difference when it comes to culture, this is not a hindrance for Filipinos to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which in itself is a manifestation of the diverse culture’s fusion when it comes to .practice.

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