CNY 2015: Do’s and Don’ts at the Chinese New Year

Apart from greeting everyone with “Kung Hei Fat Choi”, do you know what you should or should not be doing during Chinese New Year?

Do’s

  • Clean your house before Chinese New Year and go to the hairdresser, to start the New Year fresh and clean
  • On the eve of Chinese New Year open all your windows and doors at the stroke of midnight to allow the old year to leave and the New Year to enter.  Celebrate with lots of noise and merry-making!
  • Dress in red and gold colours during Chinese New Year, this brings you good luck and prosperity – ideally dress in something new, that you’ve just bought for Chinese New Year
  • Eat fish and noodles (if you want to find out more about lucky foods for CNY, check out this post)
  • Buy some tangerines. The price you pay for the tangerines must be a good number, which sounds very lucky in Cantonese, for example $88. It means you will have good luck and good fortune for the rest of the year
  • Watch a dragon and/or lion dance – it is believed that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face of the dragon or lion dancing aggressively can evict bad or evil spirits
  • If you’re in debt, it’s time to dip into your pockets and pay people off. The Chinese believe that if you start the new year in the red, you’ll finish it the same way

Lion Dance 9

Don’ts

  • Don’t wash your hair or sweep the house on the first day of Chinese New Year, because the superstition is that the luck will wash away (but you are allowed to wash your body)
  • You can’t eat porridge or congee on the first day as it will bring poverty
  • Do not wear white or black clothes as these two colours are associated with mourning traditionally
  • During Chinese New Year, you better not break anything. It is very unlucky if you break anything
  • Make sure you avoid rough seas in the new year by not buying shoes over the holiday period. In Cantonese, shoes are a homonym for ‘rough’
  • Don’t give certain gifts, like clocks, scissors, and pears, as they have a bad meaning in Chinese culture (just stick to red packets, tangerines, chocolates etc.)
  • Also, don’t use or talk about unlucky words or things such as ‘death’ or the number 4

Dragon Artwork 3

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