New Years Eve Ritual

text: “Every New Years Eve, my family puts a $100 dollar bill in their pockets before the clock reaches midnight. We do this because it brings prosperity in the New Year and the hope that you will be rich. My grandparents on my Filipino side put round objects in their pockets, such as coins or grapes, which also will bring wealth and good fortune in the New Year” -Informant

context: The tradition and superstition of these comes from both his Italian side and his Filipino side. He is 50% Italian, and 50% Filipino and has multiple traditions for every holiday. On his Italian side, his mom introduced putting a $100 bill into his pocket, maybe to just give him a hundred dollars, or maybe to bring him good fortune. On his Filipino side, his dad would make him put grapes, coins, or anything round also in his pocket to bring wealth and prosperity in the New Year.

analysis: What’s interesting about the combination of both of these New Years rituals, is that the informant will probably pass down these traditions to his kids. It will be a combination of them and be his way of passing down his culture to his kids. These New Year’s Eve superstitions and rituals serve as a prime example of Jame George Frazer’s theory of sympathetic magic, in specific, homeopathic magic. In his theory, he explains the belief among folk groups that certain practices can be carried out on a smaller scale that then produce major effects on a larger scale, that if which affecting the future.