Tag Archives: height

Ritual: New Year’s Eve Jump


Interspersed within their explanation of the ritual are frequent giggles as the informant looked back on performing this ritual.

“Something that happens on the night of New Year’s Eve– I guess it happens right at countdown. My family does this for years. My mom still does this. Right when it strikes midnight, we jump as high as we can several times until the first minute is done, so you can get taller in the New Year.”


“This is just really funny because my mom is 4’9″. I grew up doing it. I don’t know if it’s just a Filipino tradition… but it’s something that my family has been doing. I think it was something more prominent as I became a teenager because my mom is all about the holidays, so she says ‘Ah, just keep jumping! Show your excitement! Ah, the New Year!’ Of course, I don’t believe in it because I’ve been 5’1″ for several years.”

“My mom. I don’t remember the first time it happened. I think it was when I was really young, like when I was in Kindergarten. It was around when I was finally old enough to stay awake around midnight. I knew it was really early on in my elementary school years. I would jump, but my eye level wouldn’t go up that high.”

“It’s just a silly little thing to do with your family to get enjoyment out of the celebration. It’s one of those traditions my mom does just to like, bring the family together. She grew up with nine other siblings so I’m sure a lot of family traditions happened a lot in her childhood, and she kind of wanted to transfer that to us– to her kids.”


This jumping ritual seems to stem off the belief that, with the New Year, comes hope for change. Tall height is seen as an attractive trait to have in many places, and it may be something that people wish for themselves to happen in the future. Especially in the case of younger children when it’s uncertain what height they’ll grow into yet, it feels like a number that’s malleable and subject to change, so it’s natural that people try to take matters into their own hands in an attempt to reach the height that they wish for themselves in the future. Eventually, the belief in it dies down as the participants grow older, but at that point it’s just a fun activity to do with the family and people around you on New Year’s Eve.


After my younger sister and I were born, my mother wanted to know how tall we were going to be as adults.  My family is rather short so she was worried that we would have the same fate and not be very tall.  Her cousin was supposedly able to predict the adult height of a child.  All he needed to know was their length at a particular age, which was 5 months for girls and 8 months for boys.  My mother gave him all the information that he needed.  From his predictions he concluded that I was to be five foot three inches as and adult, and my sister was going to be five foot one inch as an adult.  These estimates were extremely accurate.  I am now five foot three and one half inches tall at age 18.  My sister is only fifteen and she is five feet.  She will most likely grow that extra inch that he predicted.

Not only did my mom’s cousin have these beliefs and make these types of predictions about children after they were born, but also during the prenatal stages.  He predicted that my mother was going to have a girl both times she was pregnant.  When my mother was pregnant, according to her cousin she was caring the baby weight in the front, verses in the legs, hips, and bottom.  If the mother is carrying the baby weight in the front is means that she will have baby girls.  Conversely, if the mother has gained her baby weight in the legs, hips, and bottom, she will have a baby boy.

We will never know if my mother’s cousin’s tricks and beliefs in knowing the adult height of a baby, and the gender of the fetus really work or if it was just a lucky guess.  However, my mom will swear by his words till this day.