As the country’s economy struggles, most Filipinos turn to lucky charms and rituals to bring them good fortune in the coming year.
One of these is the “prosperity bowl”, a do-it-yourself (DIY) charm that has become a fixture in a modern Filipino media noche, or New Year’s celebration.
The traditional origin of the prosperity bowl is the Chinese money bar-shaped basket. Typically, it is filled with rice grains adorned with charms such as jin chan or the Chinese money frog, ong lai or the pineapple charm, the Chinese zodiac animal of the year charm, and a wealth Buddha.
It is also commonly accompanied by a display of 12 lucky fruits on the dining table.
DIY Prosperity Bowl
According to feng shui consultant Johnson Chua, a simple DIY prosperity bowl would consist of filling a bowl with rice grains, preparing rolled paper money in odd numbers, and sticking it up the grains.
Angpaos or red envelopes may also be placed in odd numbers on the bowl.
Water may also be added to the bowl together with 9 coins.
Chua also stated that the prosperity basket should be displayed on New Year’s Eve and removed as soon as possible before January 2.
Another feng shui expert, Emerson Dee, explained that some people put ginger, 12 eggs, and bay leaves in their prosperity bowl.
He suggests that if you have already prepared 12 lucky fruits, you can skip the 12 eggs. Although both are considered lucky, the ginger can be displayed separately.
Dee, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with incorporating everything lucky on your prosperity bowl, especially since it will add abundance to your media noche table.
Feng Shui master Hanz Cua noted that although these practices are part of the Chinese tradition for the Chinese New Year, everyone is free to practice their own beliefs,
Cua suggests doing it on January 1 or during Chinese New Year on January 22, or both if possible or desired.
They all agree that hard work and prayers are more effective than charms and rituals in bringing prosperity into one’s life.