Always eat noodles on your birthday

Context: My informant is a family

My informant states that a Filipino superstition that she knows of is that “you should always eat noodles on your birthday”. Though, she acknowledges that this superstition may not just apply to Filipinos because other Asian countries prominently have noodles as a part of their culture, just like white rice. And in this case, Filipinos eat Pancit.

She says the reason for this is that noodles symbolize having a long life. And her experience with this tradition, and also superstition is that she has always had noodles for her birthday and has always seen noodles (or specifically pancit) in the dishes among many others at family’s birthdays and get togethers.

She interprets this as carrying on noodles as a part of being Filipino, and also because of the length of the noodles.


This Filipino tradition is also a superstition.

Analyzing this piece of folklore, it seems to stem from other Asian cultures. Noodles are a part of many Asian cultures, and I believe that it emphasizes on the idea of “pan-asianism”. Though it does seem to be very harmonizing and it does not mean it is all the same for all Asian cultures. Because the Philippines has their own staple of noodles, which is pancit.

Furthermore, my informant does not seem to state any worry about this superstition. Pancit/noodles are just that important to Filipinos because it is an important part of a celebration meal and a favorite common (but not basic) food. Food can carry heavy symbolic messages for people. In this case, noodles may represent longevity but also embracing and loving a staple food that most people enjoy in all sorts of contexts (not just parties).