5 Lesser Known Chinoy Superstitions from my Older Relatives

I always learn new things from my older relatives, from lessons about money to business advice and more. But on occasion, they will tell me stories that transcend the mortal realm and delve into the supernatural. These stories, straight from the source, are what I will be sharing today in this article. Hope you enjoy!

1. Why Chinese people keep koi fish

According to one of my relatives, koi fish are benevolent creatures who take care of their owners in return for being taken care of. When a large misfortune or major health problem threatens to befall a family member, a koi fish may suddenly die. 

This is interpreted as the koi fish absorbing all the negative energy of the event. After a while, the misfortune or health problem will eventually disappear or heal up. 

2. Why they always have statues of three guys

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Without fail, my angkong and all of his siblings have a set of statues that look like these three bearded men. They all come from the Fujian Province and thus share the same religious beliefs.

As a child, I would be scared of the three figures. My parents explained that they were the Sanxing (Three Stars), or the embodiment of Fortune, Prosperity, and Longevity. These idols are kept in order to attract good fortune and auspiciousness.

Additionally, my angkong always says that the three attributes of a good life are the above stated things: fortune, prosperity, and longevity.

Conversely, my angkong has three things that one must never over-indulge in to prevent attracting misfortune and ruining one’s life.  He passed on this wisdom to my dad and his three brothers. (And then my dad passed it onto me!) The three Vices are: Wine, Women, and Drugs. 

3. Why Philippine Schools are Haunted

Photo credit: DAWN

As children, we heard several playground rumors about ghosts in our schools. Some were due to the Chinese schools allegedly being former graveyards or hospitals, where people would die and leave their spirits behind.  

From older relatives, you will hear of scarier phantoms from a more terrifying source: war crimes of Filipinos and Chinese people fallen during times of armed conflict. It was surreal to hear about DLSU’s WWII history from a person who was alive at the time. One even told me about when he used to see ghosts back when he was a High School student. Or the friend of an auntie who went to an all girls school and saw a ghostly nun wandering the second floor of her school. 

If you need a horror fix, and movies aren’t cutting it; just ask an older relative about their ghostly experiences. 

4. Why there are Coins in the Foundations of Chinese Houses

Photo credit: Indian express

There are coins embedded in the foundations of old Chinese houses? Spooky! But why? Don’t worry, this is not an emperor’s tomb situation where an ancient Chinese mummy is waiting for you down below. 

Instead, this practice is based on the concepts of the “Money Tree” and reaping what one sows. The foundation of a house is considered the “root” of the tree, and coins are planted within them in order to generate more money for the family living within the house. 

5. Why Chinese people set off fireworks on the New Year

Photo credit: Welum

Most people are aware that fireworks were used by ancient Chinese people to scare away demons. Even Chinese architecture reflects this, with its curved roofs that make spirits fall off. 

However, did you know that fireworks set off on the New Year have another purpose? They are also used to scare away bad luck and misfortune, as well as attract money and good fortune! Chinese people are infamous for their commitment to “getting that bag” (earning money) and this is one of many traditions that do the same. 

6. Why Noodles Symbolize a Long Journey 

Photo credit:

Older Chinoy relatives say many poetic phrases. Some dispense wisdom about life, while some are just prose about liking things. One example is the Chinese saying “When leaving, eat dumplings; when arriving, eat noodles.” 

The long length of noodles in noodle dishes represents a long journey. Therefore, people should eat noodles after long trips! Additionally, it is said that noodles allow travelers to announce their presence to the universe. 

We also think the original person who said this phrase was just a really big fan of dumplings and noodles. It’s a great excuse to eat more noodles – especially after a long day’s travel!

Hope you enjoyed this article and learned something knew about Chinoy superstitions!

Leave a Reply