With Chinese New Year (CNY) just around the corner, we believe preparations to celebrate the festive occasion is in full swing. After all, what is a festival without hearing the good ol' practices that our parents have iterated ever since we were young. Growing up, haven't you thought that these practices might be a tad bit ridiculous? Do you observe the various taboos associated with the season? These silly superstitions dictate the frenzy that we all go through right until the eve of CNY, so read on to know your New Year no-no’s and avoid all that misfortune!
1. Don’t sweep or take out the trash
Sweep the floor or take out the trash on the first day of CNY and you’re sweeping (or dumping) all your good fortune out! Do a big spring clean and toss your garbage beforehand if you want to be presented with money-making opportunities.
2. Don’t wash your hair
The first and second day of the Lunar New Year is associated with the birthday of the Water God plus ‘head’ is synonymous with ‘beginning’ in Chinese hence don’t wash your hair. Flaunt your freshly-washed luscious locks and you’ll sever your luck and derail a good start to the year! We admit that this can be a challenge for the regular gym-goers because let’s be real, no one wants to smell horrible at school or work post-gym. Anyhow, whatever the state of your personal hygiene, cleanliness is generally frowned upon during this time. #justsaying
3. Don’t curse or utter unlucky words
Utter “die” and it might lead to actual death. The Chinese believe that anything said during CNY will linger throughout the year so mince your words, mind your tongue and replace with euphemisms. Includes ghost stories and foul language too.
4. Don’t wear black
Black hides food babies and unwanted fats but the colour is associated with death and mourning. Choose a cheery colour for the season before your superstitious relative shakes his or her head in complete disapproval. Red is considered as a vibrant, happy colour which will lead to a bright future. If red is too bright for your soul, opt for yellow, orange or gold. Your appearance and attitude sets the tone for the rest of the year so put away those black threads for awhile.
5. Don’t use knives/scissors or do needlework
Sharpen up your chef knives and what not before CNY if you wish to retain good luck in the new year because anything to do with cutting is about cutting off your luck. It’s apparently an omen for possible arguments with others too. Oh, and women should not knit or do any needlework – it’s believed that if you use a needle and have a child that year, your little one’s eyes will be as small as the eye of the needle. Truth or plain silly? You decide. For an extra peace of mind, all sharp tools are to be avoided for any accidental injuries, inauspiciousness and the depletion of wealth in general. We guess you’d have to find another way to open that bag of bakkwa…
While these taboos sound a bit unbelievable, there is a special flavour of the festive season that comes with believing in them. It reminds most people of their younger days when they hear stories that, while sound somewhat ridiculous, serve as a form of entertainment and amusement. Let us know if these taboos are true and in the meantime, here’s to a happy and prosperous CNY! Enjoy your long holidays and may the luck and fortune of the year of the dog follow you through!