I have never thought much of this before, but I feel the need to ask about it now. In my family we have two traditions that we like to do for certain occasions (I, currently, can not recall if there are more). Those traditions are eating noodles, spaghetti, pancit, or some other pasta on birthdays and “welcoming the New Year.”
As long as I could remember, my parents always wanted everyone in the family to eat some form of pasta on birthdays. My parents say that eating pasta on birthdays will give you long life. The birthday person is not the only person who has to eat the pasta. Everyone in the family eats pasta on the birthday regardless of whose birthday it is and still receive long life. They also seem to believe this because they treat such a thing as important as attending mass on holy days of obligation. For example, there are days when I would still be in college at around dinner time and have to eat out. My parents would take the effort to always either call me or remind me to buy something pasta-related.
WELCOME, NEW YEAR
Every New Year, my mom would tell us to “welcome the New Year” by doing the following things. We would wear clothing that has many pockets and fill all those pockets with cash. We would light every light in the house. We would open every door in the house (and I think even some of the external doors as well). We would try to eat 12 grapes within the last 12 seconds of the New Year (we would be watching the CNN New Year special to help us count the seconds). We would also, either with instruments or our shouts, “welcome the New Year” with loud noises.
Now, I admit, I may over-analyze things sometimes. But I feel that this is a serious thing to bring up. I guess I could just ask my parents if these are pagan things we are doing, but I feel that I do not need to. Pardon me if I detract, but some members of my family do a lot of superstitious things that border on Paganism. One of my family members would knock on wood or some other hard surface and say “knock on wood” if one feels worried or concerned about something. Another member (or perhaps the same member) would buy and hang some decorations around the house that seem to be Pagan luck charms (Chinese amulets, Dreamcatchers, etc.). And it would not be the first time that I saw some members of my family partake in the rituals of other faiths.
If I may ask you all, are any of these things something I should be worried about? What should I do if they are? Should I not participate in any of these “family traditions?” Should I participate as long as I do not invest myself spiritually? Is there anything else you would like to suggest? I thank you all in advance.