Filipinos have always been superstitious, especially when it comes to the holiday seasons, and the New Year brings a lot of superstitious beliefs into action. One of these beliefs/traditions is preparing what we call the “six bowls of blessings,” for a lack of a better term. It consists of a tray with six containers/bowls of different items. Each item has a different meaning for the upcoming new year:
- Rice – An abundance in food, in hopes that we will never go hungry
- Sugar – Sweetness in relationships
- Salt – Bring spice in relationships
- Cotton – Life will never be a burden
- Water – The incoming year will be smooth sailing (smooth as water)
- Money – Wealth and Prosperity
We prepare these during the eve of New Year’s Day in our family dining table for at least three to four days as the centerpiece. All these represent the blessings we hope the new year will bring to our family. Though it does not have significant importance, it brings comfort to our family that we have carried on this tradition from our forefathers and we have wished each member of the family an abundance of blessings for the year to come. This tray of items not only contains our blessings for the New Year but it is a reminder of what is important in life. Our relationship with our family is something value the most and something we will treasure for our entire lives. We come from a very poor country, we have seen extreme poverty every day and it is very sad and heartbreaking to see, especially during the holiday season. We take this time to be grateful for what we have and what we were given and hope it continues and take this time to give back to those less fortunate than us. This tradition reminds us each year how lucky we are that we have and hope it continues for the coming year.