List of Round or Circular Fruits for New Year's Eve Tradition
The two biggest celebrated holidays in the Philippines are Christmas and New Year. Filipinos have the longest preparation for Christmas, and that starts once the "ber" months started. The "ber" months, as Filipinos call them, starts in September. Once September begins, one can start seeing Christmas lanterns on sale alongside the streets and stores, and Christmas carols being played on radios and tv commercials.
This article will be about the round fruits or all the circular fruits I could think of. Why is that? After Christmas, all the attention and preparation would be towards the coming New Year, the second biggest celebrated holiday in the country. And one tradition Filipinos do to welcome the New Year are those round fruits that are displayed on the table, believed to welcome prosperity into the home. We (like others) used to have 12 round fruits symbolizing the 12 months in a year. And I know there are those that display 13 round fruits instead of 12. The fruits are round in shape as round symbolizes coins, or money, thus having these fruits on New Year is a sign of prosperity and abundance for the household.
And so for those who finds it somewhat hard to find and complete the 12 or 13 round fruits, here is a list of all round-shape fruits I could think of.
So What Are Those Round Fruits?
There's a lot of round or circular fruits that can be used for those who participate in this New Year tradition. Some tropical fruits listed here might not be available depending on where you live, but still, here's a list of fruits so you could have something to look at and give you other choices of round fruits you can choose from to get to 12.
So let's start?
One of the most common fruits available all year round. A healthy fruit that is available in green and red varieties. Some prefer the red one because of the color: red for good luck, welcoming of the coming year. And yet the color green is associated with money matters. So which one would you choose? Why not have both color of apples instead?
Surely we wouldn't miss adding this one to the table. This juicy fruit is a good source of vitamin C, is native from Africa, and is usually found as part of the 12 round fruits.
Too big you say? There are varieties of watermelon that are smaller and round. And some are seedless too. So if your worry is the size of the big kind of watermelon, choose the small ones, and they won't take that much space on the table.
Even back in the Philippines, grapes are one of the fruits we display for New Year's Eve.
And now, grapes will always be one of the first fruits that comes to mind when the hunting for 12 round fruits starts.
Don't forget the cantaloupe. I love this fruit. I could indulge myself in a bowl of cantaloupe on a hot summer day. So, if this fruit is available where you are on New Year, get one to complete the fruit list.
Longan fruits could add to your round fruits; they are delicious and sweet! And this is one of my favorite fruits and I would get some when they are available at the market where we usually go for our groceries.
And know what? Longans are known in China as "dragon eye" as this fruit looks like an eye of a dragon.
Do you do the 12 or 13 round fruits on New Year's Eve?
Good-looking fruits, aren't they? Plums are juicy, healthy, and good for you so don't leave them behind.
Eating this fruit's juicy, yellow, creamy pulp will help you live healthier as the fruit is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And they are available all year round so no worries about missing them at the grocery when you need their help to complete your fruits.
In the above photo, Asian pears are hanging from the tree. Seeing this makes me imagine every bite I had when eating this crispy and juicy fruit, like you can really hear the sound as you bite and chew.
There are other names this pear cultivar have, and those are sand pear, nashi pear, and apple pear. It also carries the name from where it was native: Korean pear, Japanese pear, and Chinese pear.
Something bright in color that you can add to the table. These sweet oranges are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
And if you have some oranges left after the holidays, you can make a marmalade out of the fruits or make a juice instead.
Persimmons are good source of antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients our bodies need. One of the fruits I enjoy, ripe persimmons are sweet and crunchy too.
A fruit that belongs to the genus Diospyros, which literally means "wheat of Zeus," persimmons are eaten as a snack, but before that, this yellow-orange fruit needs to be dried.
Below are velvet apples. They are related to persimmon as the fruit is also from the genus Diospyrus. This fruit is reddish-brown in color and has fine fur. And how does mabolo or velvet apple taste? It has a cheesy taste.
This fuzzy-skinned fruit of the genus prunus is native to China and has a yellowish, juicy sweet flesh.
And the peach kernels? They are an important ingredient to Chinese medicine. Add some peaches on your New Year's 12 round-shape fruits as it was highly regarded from its place of origin and symbolizes immortality and vitality. Civil officers in China would even cut peach woods on New Year's Eve and lay it on their doors for protection against bad influences for the coming year.
Juicy and sweet honeydew is good for dessert, chilled or not, and is said to be similar to the Bailan melon of China.
Want to have a dessert with honeydew? Try scraping honeydew, fill half a small bowl or sundae glass with it, add sugar palm and jellies on top, a little bit of milk (or more according to your liking) and top with your favorite ice cream. Add other goodies you want and make it yours. I also do this with cantaloupe.
Cherries in their vibrant color, red. In some cultures such as Chinese, it is the color of good luck and joy. So it won't hurt to consider adding cherries to the fruits on the table. They are a high source of antioxidants too along with minerals such as potassium, zinc, and iron.
And after the holiday, all this fruit left along with cherries would make a good fruit salad for dessert.
These small yellow fruits are also known as Japanese plum and Chinese plum and are native to China. Loquat comes in clusters with a fruit having usually four seeds. Another fruit that is a good source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins such as A.
Some guavas can be oval in shape, but to add guava fruit to your 12 circular fruits, choose the variety that is round such as apple guava, lemon guava, and strawberry guava.
Guavas can be eaten either ripe or still green. Some prefer the ripe fruit as seen in this photo and still there are those who enjoy it green with salt and vinegar like I do. This fruit is even eaten with soy sauce and vinegar in Hawaii.
Above are lanzones fruits and come in clusters. Another delicious treat on the table are these small yellow fruits when they are ripe. One thing I remember, and will always remember when eating this fruit is the sticky sap that I always had been told as a young kid to be careful with as it can get on my clothes or anything I touch.
Known as lanzones in the Philippines, the fruit is native to Southeast Asia and is also known as langsat.
Star Apple Fruits
The ripe star apple (chrysophyllum caimito) fruits in their beautiful purple color. Also called milk fruit, cainito, du lait and in the Philippines, kaymito or caimito. This fruit is a good source of antioxidants and one can get most of the sweetness of it when it is really ripe. Some prefer it chilled but in the provinces, people prefer it fresh from the tree.
Rambutan (nephelium lappaceum). A hairy fruit it is. Don't get scared or let those spines drive you away as they are harmless and soft, and won't poke you. In fact, rambutan is one of my favorite fruits.
This fruit, I'd say has a resemblance with lychee and strawberry: would look like a strawberry without the soft spikes and aside from being in the same botanical family as lychee, its delicious white flesh wrapping its single seed looks really like a lychee.
Known as jocote, spanish plum or red mombin. This small green fruit turns reddish or yellow when ripe and has a single seed.
Also known as sineguela/s, it is eaten either ripe or green, or close to being ripe in the Philippines where the green fruit is preferred with salt.
Don't forget the berries! They might not be in season for you to add to the table but in case you run out of other fruits to complete your 12 round fruits, you might as well consider checking the frozen aisle to find frozen berries such as blueberries. (That is if considering frozen berries is your last resort to complete your fruits.)
There you go, we have more than 12 or 13 round fruits. Make a very early list of them, or start searching for them again in case the same question every year pops up, "what are those 12 round fruits?"