Words by: Kiana Palacios
As the Lunar New Year fast approaches, it’s important to take note of what to avoid to ensure you’ll able to receive the fortune that comes with the new year. Here’s a quick list of the 15 things you and your family should avoid doing to keep the good luck in your favor for the whole year round!
15. Don’t start the new year without cleaning your house thoroughly
It’s a must to clean the house BEFORE the new year as it drives away all the bad luck from the year before. Sweeping the house DURING the new year is sweeping away the all good luck you are bound to receive for the rest of the year.
14. Avoid the number 4
The Chinese word for number 4 (四-si) also means death in Chinese culture. Most of the time, Chinese people even go as far as not saying the word at all. They believe that by saying it, they might jinx their fortune and even wish death upon the people around them.
13. Don’t do the laundry
Laundry on the first two days of the year is a big no since it’s believed to be the birthday of the water god 水神 (ShuiShen). By washing the laundry on these days, you might be putting yourself in the “naughty” list of Shuishen and bestowing a lot of bad luck on yourself.
12. Don’t wash and cut your hair
It’s believed that washing hair is washing away your fortune. Cutting of hair is also considered taboo, as scissors and other sharp objects are believed to cut your stream of success and wealth.
11. Don’t take any medicine (unless you really need to)
Unless you’re chronically ill or with any serious disease, taking medicine on New Year’s day puts you on the list for sicknesses all throughout the year. Going to the doctor’s, undergoing surgery, and getting shots are also considered taboo.
10. Don’t reuse old clothes
New red clothes mean good luck and a fresh start. So why not take it as an excuse to go shopping?
9. Avoid monochrome fashion
Be sure though to wear red and other bright colors since white, black and other dark colors are associated with death, mourning, and funerals.
8. Avoid crying and fighting
Crying, unless under special circumstances, is said to bring bad luck to the family. All problems should also be resolved peacefully to ensure a smooth new year.
7. Women: Don’t leave your house
For women, going out during the new year is a sign of bad luck. Married daughters are also not allowed to visit their parents as it’s believed to bring bad luck and economic hardship, although men are free to do whatever they want. Yikes!
6. Avoid negative words
Words like death, poor, kill, ghost, etc. are to be avoided to not jinx yourself and your family this new year.
5. Don’t break anything, especially ceramics and glass
If you do, you break your connection with prosperity and fortune. But if it can’t be avoided, be sure to wrap the shards in red paper while whispering 岁岁平安 (sui sui ping an) which means peace and security. After the new year, you must throw the shards in a lake or river.
4. Don’t sleep before midnight
It’s a must to let out fireworks while waiting for the new year to scare off bad spirits and Nian, the New Year monster. By going to bed early, you might miss out on being able to welcome the new year!
3. Don’t give New Year blessings to someone still in bed or asleep
If they’re still in bed when you wish them a “Happy New Year,” this would put them in a year of being bed-ridden. Wait for them to get out of bed first to not put them in a fate of being bossed around and rushed for the rest of the year. Don’t be afraid to sleep in!
2. Don’t give gifts with bad meanings in Chinese culture
Avoid gifts like clocks, scissors, and pears, you might be wishing bad luck for the recipient of the gift instead!
1. Don’t give odd numbers in ampaos
All even numbers are said to be good luck (except number 4!). Avoid amounts with number 3, 5, and 7. Any value with the number 8 is always a safe bet!
Keep these 15 in mind as you celebrate the Lunar New Year. Wishing you and your family a prosperous and blessed new year ahead! Happy Chinese New Year!