Today is the day… it is Chinese New Year and the start of the monkey year. It is going to be a fun year, I’m sure of that!
So just to be on the safe side, here are a few things you should (not) be doing today – unless you want to start the year badly:
Don’t take medicine on the first day of the lunar year or you will get ill for a whole year. Also avoid the use of knives and scissors as any accident is thought to lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth.
Don’t eat porridge for breakfast, because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast, and people don’t want to start the year “poor” as this is a bad omen. But also ensure that you don’t have an empty rice jar (or in fact any other important food storage should not be empty). You can guess what that means? Of course, you need to ensure you have plenty of food for the year ahead!
Don’t wash clothes (or hair) on the first and second day, because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of the Water God and you don’t want to wash the luck away. Same goes for sweeping, so pack the broom away!
If you can: try not to leave your house! On the one hand, a married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents, as this is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing economic hardship for the family. On the other hand, better stay safe that your pocket is not picked (although this is quite unlikely to happen in Hong Kong) – you want to protect your wealth for the year ahead.
Wear colorful clothes – anything except white or black as these two colours are traditionally associated with mourning. And don’t hand over gifts such as clocks, scissors and pears (they all have bad meaning in Chinese culture) – instead, opt for fruit and chocolates. Preferably wrapped in auspicious colours such as red.
And then, the tough one – the one that I might struggle with: The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family, so I need to ensure that Lina remains happy all day!
[In case you are wondering – all these images are taken in The Landmark shopping mall]