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Chinese New Year Taboo

Chinese New Year Taboo.

Chinese New Year, Also known as the Chinese spring festival, is a time for lion and dragon dance, family reunion and catching up with old friends. And to those teens out there…..hong pow. From a very young age I was told of things that we should and shouldn’t do during chinese new year. Lately, i started to gather more info on this topic.

Call it Taboo, Call it Inauspicious or mere Superstitions, it all meant well. Everything about Chinese New Year is about the word AUSPICIOUS. Listed are the do and don’t during the Chinese New Year known to me.

01) It is inauspicious to get an hair cut during Chinese new year. It is said to signify the cutting of longevity. So get your stylist appointment early. It is also inauspicious to cut your nails on Chinese new years day.

02) Any debts owed to anybody should be paid off before Chinese new year. Debts carried over new year is consider inauspicious. And the same, there would be no lending/borrowings during Chinese new year also.

03) On reunion night / eve is the time where everybody sits together to have dinner. During this time, it is important not to argue, curse or shout at others. Taking care not to break anything is also very important. Dishes on the table usually has an auspicious meaning or name to it. It is also custom to leave the head and tail of the fish to the owner of the house. This signify “yo tou yo me” (Got head Got tail – an auspicious meaning completion/full)

04) One should take care not to break any glassware during Chinese new year as this will signify arguments within the house.

05) A broken Chopstick during Chinese new year means breaking of relations.

06) After cleaning, all brooms are kept away from view on the eve of new year. One should not use the broom to sweep anything during the Chinese new year. I was told that fortunes are swept away if used. Certain family keeps their rubbish till a centain numbers of days before it is carried out throughout the BACK door of the house.

07) Firecracker are lit in the house compound to dispel bad luck and to usher the god of prosperity into the house. According to legend, a beast call Nian Sou would appear every new years eve to feast on humans. The people soon found out that the beast is afraid of the color red, bright light and loud noise. Hence stated the tradition of lighting of firecracker during the hour entering Chinese new year.

08) The main door (windows too in some houses) of the house will usually be wide open till the next morning. This is to usher good luck.

09) Staying up late – also know as shousui. Teens should stay awake IN THE HOUSE all night from the eve to morning(or the latest him/she can take). This signify that him/her is helping to increase the longevity of their parents. But some has said it is a time for chatting and bonding since some sibling only meets up once a year.

10) it is advise not to group around or sit by the main door during Chinese new year. This is said to avoid the flow of good luck into the house. Lying down with the leg facing the main door is also known as inauspicious in this day.

11) One should not be cursing on Chinese new years day. Arguing is a no no. Any wording that sounds inauspicious shall be avoided. Foul language should be avoided.

12) One should also avoid wearing black cloths during Chinese new year. Red would be the best color during Chinese new year. And of course some new clothes would be best.

13) One should not be sleeping in the noon during Chinese new year. It is said to make the person lazy all year long.

14) One shall not wake anybody up early in the morning of the first day of new year. But one should be awake early on the first day of new year. Been woken up signify that the person would be push/hurried all year long and been awake early mean respect to your elders.

15) Greeting somebody in the room during the morning of Chinese new year is inauspicious. Greeting should be made only in the greeting hall.

16) During the first day of Chinese new year it is prohibited to use any sharp object like needle or scissors. Some has said that using scissor signify cutting of relation and fortune in this year.

17) Spitting out the main door or window during the first day of Chinese new year is consider inauspicious.

18) Certain individual does consult feng shui masters or the almanac to select the best time and direction for visiting. This is enjoy the best of luck throughout the year.

19) Renovation shall not be done on the first day of Chinese new years. It is deem inauspicious as breaking the house signify breaking your shelter. Nails in cantonese is call Deng1. Deng1 is also another word that means death so nailing must be avoided on this day.

20) Some parents will avoid scolding or betting the children during this time. It is said that if they cry during the first day of Chinese new year, they will cry often throughout the year.

21) The first person you meet during Chinese new year is significantly important. The first word and facial expression you receive would effect your fortune throughout the year. But no worries, usually the first word / sentence you will get from / to greet other people is “Gong Xi Fatt Chai” following with auspicious sentences that wishes good prosperity and longevity.

22) It is also advisable to release bird, fish or any captivity animal free. This is said to bring good luck throughout the year. One shall not slaughter on the first day of Chinese New Year too.

23) It is also not advisable to do any visits to hospitals or cemetery during this period. Some has said that this will reduce the individuals luck for the year.

24) I was told that you should not celebrate your birthday extravagantly on the first day of Chinese new year as this will make you clash with the year. Clashing with the year is deem inauspicious to certain teaching and masters.

25) It is customary to gift/receive monies in red packet or more commonly known as Ang Pow / Hong Pow / 紅包. This is usually given from married couples or the elderly to the unmarried. Avoid giving monies in white packet/envelope as it is deem inauspicious. Traditionally, a white packet is commonly associated with Bai Jin /白金 / white gold, which are donations offered during funerals.)

More to be updated soon. 🙂

Chinese New Year Taboo1


My Time – my.72dragon.com – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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