And just like that, Chinese New Year is around the corner once again! As we gear up for the imminent celebrations, there’s something else we must bear in mind. Sure, there’s lot of food and drink and games, but there’s also the superstitions. While people’s opinions on superstitions may differ, as a general rule and tradition, most of us still choose to abide by them, because why risk courting bad luck am I right? Check out these Chinese New Year superstitions below now!
1) Go Shopping
What do you mean you don’t have new clothes for the new year? You gotta get one, at least one! New clothes symbolise a fresh start for the new year, and make sure the colours are bright! Traditionally, black and white colours are eschewed as they are associated with mourning, but more and more of the younger generation are incorporating monochrome colours regardless.
2) Stock Up On Food Supplies
That means your basic food necessities such as rice, oil and salt. If you store these ingredients in jars or containers, make sure they are full. This will symbolise that you will always have enough for the whole year. On the other hand, if your containers are empty, well… you’ll be hungry for the rest of the year. In other words, you may have tough luck.
3) Don’t Wash Your Hair
On the first day of CNY, it’s considered bad luck to wash your hair, because you might be washing your wealth away. The word for hair in Mandarin is a homophone for “getting rich”, so you can see how this superstition was created. (I still wash my hair though actually…)
4) Don’t Sweep The Floor
Similar reasoning to the item above, you’ll be sweeping all your good luck away if you sweep the floor on the first day of CNY. Though perhaps not many people actually use brooms now, I suppose? I’ve actually heard someone challenge this superstition by saying “what if I use a vacuum? I’ll be storing my good fortune, won’t I?” What do you think?
5) “Lou” High
Everyone knows that lousang or yeesang is a definite must-have during CNY, and even this has its own little superstition attached to it. The higher you “lou”, the better luck you’ll have in the year. “Lou” as high as you like, but maybe try not to get it on other people maybe, because things have gotten out of hand and the lousang ended up on people instead of the plate when everyone got a little too excited.
6) Don’t Use Sharp Objects
Apparently, sharp objects bring bad luck, and they also “cut” your connection to wealth and good fortune. So remember, don’t use scissors, knives, blades, needles etc. especially on the first day of CNY!
7) Don’t Ask For Debt Repayment
This is to ensure everyone celebrates CNY with peace of mind and happiness. It’s always not wise to borrow money during this time as it symbolises that you’ll end up borrowing money for the rest of the year. Generally as a rule, people settle all their debt and money matters before CNY to ensure a smooth-sailing year.
8) Don’t Give The Wrong Gifts
While receiving gifts is pleasant, there are certain gifts you must avoid at all costs, for it could symbolise a range of bad luck and misfortune, including death. Not great for CNY. Some of the things to avoid include clocks (the greatest no-no of all), pears and mirrors among others. When in doubt, just bring Mandarin oranges. Everyone loves those and they symbolise good luck and fortune as well!
9) Don’t Fight Or Cry
This should be a no-brainer, because CNY is a time for good times, celebration and harmony. Even if kids start crying, try to resolve the matter as amiably as possible, and try to be as calm, peaceful and happy as possible – spread the good vibes to have good vibes all year!
10) Don’t Break Ceramics Or Glass
Accidents may still happen, so in the event of someone breaking something, say “sui sui ping an” to counter the untoward incident. “Sui sui ping an” means being safe each year, and “sui” is the pronunciation for both “age” and “break” in Mandarin, so that’s how the saying came about.