Dos and Don’ts of Lunar New Year
Like many other festivities, Lunar New Year is steep in tradition and customs. While many of the younger generation do not really observe these rituals, the older generation still take them seriously. Most of the customs are application during the first five days of the festivities. Interestingly, there are good reasons behind some of these dos and don’ts of Lunar New Year:
- Daughter-in-laws can only return to their hometowns after the first day. According to Chinese customs, daughters are considered part of their husbands’ family when they get married. Hence, priority must be given to the husbands’ side and they are expected to help entertain visiting guests on the first day.
- Avoid eating porridge for breakfast as this is food for the poor. Medication is a no-no too as it may result in the person falling sick all year. The Taoists or Buddhists will go vegetarian in respect for the gods.
- Do not wake someone up from by calling their name. Otherwise, the person will be rushed in everything he or she does throughout the year.
Water symbolises wealth. Hence, washing one’s clothes during these two days will wash away your wealth for the rest of the year.
- No napping in the afternoon as this will make the person lazy for the rest of the year. The logic behind this taboo is everyone should stay awake to receive their visiting guests.
- No cleaning, sweeping or mopping as these available will wash away the wealth in your home.
- Do not allow anyone to fish anything out of your pocket. Otherwise, your wealth will be taken by others for the rest of the year.
- It’s bad luck to break anything during this period. If this happens, you must wrap the broken pieces in red cloth while chanting 碎碎(岁岁)平安 (a good mantra) to counter the impending misfortune. The broken pieces can only be thrown away on after the fifth day.
Whether you observe these customs or not, Lunar Chinese New Year should always be a time for happiness and family reunion. After all, what’s the point if you can’t share your joy with your loved ones. So, here’s wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year!