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 that starts once the "ber" months comes in. The "ber" months, as Filipinos call it starts in September. Once September begins, one can start seeing Christmas lanterns on sale alongside streets and stores with Christmas carols played on radios and tv commercials. As stores and malls gets crazy during Christmas season for all that gift hunting, grocery stores get crazy as well for the preparation of New Year's Eve getting into the tradition of completing the 12 round fruits for the coming New Year. Some do it 13. It is a Filipino tradition of attracting good luck or the good fortune that the new year brings.
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.
Round fruits as the shape symbolizes coins or money, thus having these fruits on New Year is a sign of prosperity and abundance for the household. And the number 12 represents each month in a year. But can you think of all 12 round shape fruits? Worry not as here's a list made just for this most awaited holiday.
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?
Who would missed watermelon on the list? This juicy fruit is a good source of vitamin C, a native from Africa. A fruit that is often present on the New Year's 12 round fruits.
Too big you say? There are varieties of watermelon that are smaller and a perfect round. And some are seedless too. So if your worry is the size as it takes too much space along with other fruits, choose the small ones.
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 begins.
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 that I don't skip 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 surely will give life at your fruit basket or bowl on 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 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-shaped fruits as it is 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 but I suggest consuming it as soon as milk is added, waiting too long makes it taste a bit bitter for some reason.
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 hlbeen 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.)
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are good addition for your bowl of fruits if any of these are available.
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?"