Some of us believe that to make the new year prosperous and bountiful, we have to make our New Year's Eve celebration festive and colorful. Accordingly, red foods are the best at this time. Some also believe that it is good to prepare round-shaped fruits and wear polka-dotted clothes as the shape of money is circle. What about the bills which have bigger values? Are there rectangular fruits? What about the 13 kinds of fruits? What do they symbolize? Some people make noise or have a display of fireworks to ward off evil spirits or simply enjoy the colorful sight of them. Those who are not careful with fireworks or even just onlookers end up fingerless or burnt.
Our celebration was just a simple one. It was joyous enough that our family was complete and we had some friends to share the joy with in welcoming the new year and in being grateful for the past year. It was just a coincidence that we prepared some reddish foods. It so happened that my kids' favorite food is spaghetti and for us adults it includes caldereta (beef or goat meat stew) and escabeche (fried fish with sweet and sour sauce). One of the family's favorite fruits is red watermelon. Perhaps, the good reason for this tradition of preparing colorful foods at this season is the psychological effect red brings being joyous and inviting.It's also a coincidence that we use polka-dotted dinner plates and our friends who believe in the luck it may bring were so happy.
Whether or not we have colorful foods or 13 kinds of fruits on our table, wear any polka dots or have a grand display of magnificent fireworks , what matters most in beginning the year is our optimism in life and our will to make ourselves a better person.
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