Folk Beliefs
Gestures
Holidays

Jump for the New Year

The informant is a freshman at USC. She’s from the Philippines, where she was born and raised. She talks about how her grandmother told her about a New year’s superstition she used to take part in visiting with her grandmother in the Philippines.

Chelsea: “My grandma told me and my cousin when we were young that when the clock strikes 12 on New year, we have to jump our age. And we’d grow taller by, like, an inch or two inches. Because it’s a New year and a new us.”

 

Me: “So in a metaphorical sense, you’re jumping your age by physically jumping?”

 

Chelsea: “Yeah, but physically jumping because we want to grow taller.”

 

Me: “Are there any rules to how many jumps or like..?”

 

Chelsea: “No, it’s like, just jump your age.”

 

Me: “So what’s the purpose of wanting to grow an inch or two?”

 

Chelsea: “I think it’s just a superstition that if you , like, jump, you’ll grow taller.”

The informant didn’t seem to know much about the reason behind growing taller, but  the idea of becoming taller and ‘jumping your age’ seems to be indicative of good connotations, whether for her family, her Filipino culture, or both. I’ve never heard of this superstition before but it seems harmless and helpful in the sense that it creates hope for Chelsea and all her family members who participate in the superstition to grow taller. It also seems like a way her grandmother used to connect with the children.

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