A dozen Do’s and Don’ts for Chinese New Year
Don’t take medicine. You will be ill for the whole year!
Don’t eat porridge for breakfast. Only poor people have porridge for breakfast, and starting the new year as ‘poor’ is a bad omen.
Don’t wash your clothes. This applies to the first and second day of Chinese New Year, which celebrate the birthday of Shuishen the Water God.
Don’t wash your hair. In Chinese, the word for ‘hair’ and ‘to become wealthy’ sound the same, so avoid ‘washing your fortune away’.
Don’t use sharp objects. Avoid knives and scissors as any accidents at the start of Chinese New Year are seen as a sign of potential failure and you losing some of your wealth over the next twelve months.
Don’t leave the house, if you are a woman. You will be plagued with bad luck for the whole year if you don’t stay indoors. And married daughters are not allowed to visit their parents; this brings bad luck to the family.
Don’t sweep the house. You will sweep your wealth away too.
Don’t make your child unhappy. Children crying brings bad luck, so parents do their best to make their children as happy as possible. (Not even more screen time?)
Don’t run out of rice. If you can’t cook during Chinese New Year this is another bad omen for the year ahead.
Don’t wear worn out clothes. Rags don’t lead to riches. Wearing old clothes on Chinese New Year could bring about financial hardship in 2016.
Do stay up late and party. Eat, drink and be merry with friends and family. And let off fireworks to scare off evil spirits, especially Nian, the New Year monster.
Do give people gifts. But not clocks, scissors or pears.