Jumping on New Years for Height

Context/Background: The informant is Filipino-American and has many family traditions, especially around holidays. One, in particular, is the annual jumping that occurs on New Years Day. Essentially, starting at midnight of the new year in hopes of growing in height, they jump together for a minute straight.


“My family’s tradition is jumping on New Years as the ball drops and to jump for the entirety of the first minute of the New Year and it’s just this belief that you’ll get taller if you jump.”

Introduction: The informant was introduced to this custom as a child growing up in a Filipino family that celebrated said tradition.

Analysis/Interpretation: I found it endearing that families such as this one will do this together every New Years. The informant has participated in this actively, and if they’re celebrating New Years elsewhere, they will have to leave and rejoin their family at home by midnight in order to engage in the ritual. What struck me was the specific desire to get taller. After further inquiry, I found out that the desire for height and jumping on New Years can be found across Filipino culture and is not exclusive to one family. What is called “Bisperas ng Bagong Taon,” or, “New Years Eve,” is a popular time to jump high. This makes me think of any traditions on New Years, specific to the U.S.; one being very centered around a particular city rather than focusing on a broader country at large. Because of the size of the U.S., I think it differs from other New Years Traditions globally I think there’s definitely different celebrations across the U.S. that’s placed much importance on, but there is a heavy emphasis on New York City’s ball drop. This program is played throughout the country, even when pre-recorded due to timezone differences.