Is it really 12 or 13 round fruits for New Year’s Eve?

If you have been to the Philippines during New Year one of the things you will notice apart from the traffic and fireworks everywhere is the abundant round fruits served during New Year’s Eve at the dining table, it is a yearly tradition for Filipinos to buy these round fruits since Feng Shui experts suggest round food symbolize money, and thus can bring you luck in the coming year, but how many round fruits do we really need? Is it 7, 8, 12, 13, or 14? These are the common counts that differs from family to family, I grew up with 13 fruits, but my wife grew up with 12, some of my friends tell me it should be 14, so how many round fruits do your really need for New Year’s Eve?

Anyways those fruit count mentioned above was not pulled out from thin air, each number symbolises something and here they are:

7 – For many Christians this is a lucky number and Philippines as a majority Catholic country some families buy only these many fruits.
8 – I guess we all know this, it is the Chinese lucky number, eight when written looks like infinity.
12 – The most common count since it makes sense, 1 fruit for every month of the year.
13 – This is the most controversial of all since 13 while a lucky number to most, in some culture it is unlucky. In some families they do 13 as the extra one nay resemble extra luck like a Christmas Bonus or 13th month pay
14 – This one symbolises the 12 months plus one for the past year and another one for the whole New Year.
Others – Please state on the comment below and why

Apart from the number of fruits rule there is another important thing to follow when doing this practice, it is said that fruits served should be a smooth and round one, it should be continuous, meaning nothing stopping it from its roundness when you move your palm across its surface. And finally, the fruits flavour is important as well and no sour fruits should be served like lemons, only choose the sweet ones.

In the Philippines this can be a challenge as most tropical fruits have special shapes like jackfruit, durian, soursop, dragon fruit, rambutan and star fruit to name some, plus since it is a big thing during this period stores ramp up their prices to take advantage of it. Now for those who wants to do this tradition this year, you still have 4 days to gather your fruits and I prepared a list below of the round fruits I usually buy during these occasions (yes all listed below have its round versions)

AvocadoGuavaMangosteenPonkan
Black GrapesHoneydewNectarineRed Apple
BlueberryJocote (Sineguelas)NectarineRed Grapes
CherryKiwiOrangeRock Melon
ChicoLanzonesPassionfruitStar Apple
FeijoaLonganPeachTamarillo
FigLoquatPearWatermelon
Golden KiwiLycheePersimmon
GrapefruitMandarinPlum
Green GrapesMangoPomegranate

Now what do you think the number is? What do you practice? To settle this once in for all let’s do a poll and see what the majority is.

How many fruits do you serve on New Year's Eve?

View Results

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5 Responses

  1. Jean Ramos says:

    Old wives tale

  2. What an interesting and fun tradition! I think 12 and 14 make sense, but my mom would love 8 :-))

  3. I never knew of this tradition< Raymund – it is a bit late for me now for this year, but I think I will work it into my New Year's plans for next year. (And I am glad 13 is winning!)

  4. Cristine says:

    I prefer 13 for the extra luck☺❤

  5. P says:

    We’ve typically done 13 when we can find that many different round fruits.

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