6 Chinese New Year practices that bring in "suwerte"
Here are the best Chinese New Year taboos and practices for maximum luck in the year ahead. Your kids will have so much fun with this cultural lesson.
To ensure a good year ahead, many Chinese families abide by a set of Chinese New Year superstitions. This practice is seen as an omen of luck for the next twelve months. Although many no longer believe in these superstitions, they still adhere to the taboos and best practices as it is part and parcel of the Chinese culture and heritage.
Chinese New Year superstitions
With the Year of the Pig almost upon us, here are some Chinese New Year superstitions to know about.
1. Wear bright new clothes
Red and bright colors are usually worn during this festive period. These colors are considered lucky. Dark colors especially black is avoided as they are usually worn at a funeral.
Same goes for damaged clothes. The idea is to wear new clothes as it symbolizes a new beginning.
2. Keep jars filled
Empty storage receptacles such as jars should be avoided. Empty jars or containers such as a rice container are considered to be bad omens during this festive period.
The idea is to have plenty. Think of abundance. This is the tone that you want to set for the rest of the year.
3. Not a good day for chores
This festive period is meant for fun and to spend time with family and friend. Chores are minimized. Don’t sweep the floor, in particular. Do all the sweeping before the festive period. Sweeping the house on the first day of Chinese New Year is akin to sweeping away good luck.
However, if it is really necessary – for example, if your kids dropped a trash bin filled with peanut skins – the homeowner should sweep from the outside towards the inside of the house. This direction represents the collection of money flowing in to your home.
4. Avoid using scissors and other sharp objects
Using sharp objects should be avoided especially on the first day of the Chinese New Year. This is seen as cutting away good fortune or good luck. Scissors represent possible quarrels. Some families in China go as far as to avoid using scissors the entire month.
5. Avoid taking medicine (if possible)
The belief here is that taking medicine on the first day of the lunar year means you will get ill and the illness will last for the entire year.
6. Avoid washing hair
Here is another thing that you don’t have to do. Washing your hair on the first day is akin to “washing your fortune away.”
This superstition has its origin in the Chinese pronunciation of hair and “becoming wealthy” which sounds similar. Of course, it means that you need to wash your hair a day before and probably, a day after the lunar new year.
When dealing with others
There are a number of Chinese New Year superstitions that relate to how you interact with family and friends.
Watch what you say
Pay attention to your words. Don’t use words with negative connotations in your conversation. Negative words include death, killing, pain, poverty and losing. Also refrain from telling ghost stories. This is very inauspicious.
This round golden fruit is a symbol of prosperity and good luck. Visitors exchange this fruit with the home owner. Two fruits are the norm. This is in line with a Chinese proverb that goes: good things come in pairs.
You may also want to read about 12 Chinese New Year superstitions for a big dose of luck which is a little different to the list above. Also see : Things not to ask or say to my eldest child during Chinese New Year