Friday, February 6, 2015

Chinese New Year Do's and Don'ts

In a blink of an eye, or maybe two, Chinese New Year is here around the corner again! First things first - to all my dear readers, I wish you a Happy Lunar New Year 2015! To display my utmost gratification and how I appreciative I am, I made a picture of a goat holding Gong Xi Fa Cai for you.


Anyway! Do you know that Chinese believe that the start of the year is essential in deciding your luck for the rest of the year? Hence, there are some things you should and should not do during this period.

1. NO SWEEPING
Good fortune being swept away.

Before the new year, house must be thoroughly cleaned and all sweeping tools (dusters, brooms. etc.) should be kept away. Sweeping or dusting is a big no-no in the list of taboos and is one of the most recognised. 

2. NO WASHING
Good luck being washed away.

(On the first day of lunar year) This includes clothes and hair washing. Hair (发), in Mandarin is pronounced as fa, which has the same pronunciation of wealth (as in 发财), hence washing your hair is equivalent to washing your wealth away into the drains.

3. NO BLACK CLOTHING
Unlucky sia.

Black (and white) is associated with death and mourning, while red is associated with luck and prosperity. I have heard of relatives denying one entrance simply because of the clothing, so if you do not want to spend the new year waiting outside the house, heed this advice.

4. MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
Hush hush.

Any words that are associated with death or bad luck (such as "四", which sounds like death) should not be uttered. Before the new year, children are especially warned to behave appropriately and not to cry.

5. NO SHARP OBJECTS
Wealth being depleted or cut away.

Including scissors. How to cut like this? Use your teeth lor.

6. HANDLE WITH CARE
Bad luck leh.

Broken stuff, like plates and mirrors, could signify broken relationships or even death. Although they can always say "neh mind neh mind 花开富贵 HUAT AH!" But still.

7. NO ODD AMOUNT OF MONEY
Good things come in pairs.

The traditional Chinese loves everything in pairs, but I am not (well except for some things, if you know what I mean). I will gladly accept any donations of odd numbers (e.g., S$999).

8. NO KILLING
Because mama says killing is bad, and it brings misfortune.

Killing is associated with blood, and blood is associated with misfortune and omen, which are associated with nothing you want yourself to be in association with. Oh, it rhymed.

~

Are there any other taboos that you know or practiced? Comment below!

P.S. While many modern Chinese do not practice these customs and traditions, they are still largely practiced in some places. I, myself is a Christian, and in no way superstitious or whatever, but I suppose that we should be at least aware of these taboos, and respect the tradition.