The Chinese believe that, as the Spring Festival is the start of a new year, what you do during this period can affect your luck in the coming year. And after some googling, we found a number of New Year’s superstitions and taboos that we just had to share with you.
Here are a list of some of the more bizarre taboo activities that we came across.
Say No Medication
Too bad if you are down with the flu (like us), because it is a taboo for a person to take medicine on the first day of the lunar year, as it is it believed that you will be ill for the whole year. We sincerely hope this is not true as most of us were on medication during this period.
No Sweeping Or Taking Out The Trash
Sweeping on the first two days of the new year is associated with sweeping away your wealth, while taking out the garbage symbolizes dumping out the good luck or good fortune from the house. Rather unrealistic for most of us who don’t want to keep smelly refuse in our houses and attract unwanted critters like roaches into the house.
No To Porridge And Meat For Breakfast
Porridge is perceived at a poor man’s meal, so its a big no on the first day of the new year. Meat should also not be eaten at breakfast out of respect for the Buddhist Gods. This we don’t have an issue with following since every single one of us on the team love animals.
Skip The Laundry And Hair Washing
You should not do any laundry on the first and second day, because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (水神, the Water God).
While it is said that ones hair should not be washed on the first day of the lunar year because in Chinese, hair (发) has the same pronunciation and the same character as fa in facai (发财), which means ‘to become wealthy’. Therefore, it is seen as not a good thing to “wash one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the New Year. Unfortunately its very hot and humid here in Singapore and not washing our hair daily is just not possible.
No Needles And Sharp Objects
No form of needle work should be done during this period. This also includes the use of knives and scissors to avoid any accidents to either yourself, another person or the knife/scissor, as this is thought to lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth in the coming year. This is also a tall order when you need to make food for yourself.
Married Daughters Are Not Welcome At Their Parents Home
A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents, as this is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing economic hardship for the family. Traditionally a married daughter visits the house of her parents on the second day of Chinese New Year. This feels very sexist and many of us on the team who happen to be married women, were not impressed.
Hold The Tears
The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family, so parents should do their best to keep children from crying by whatever means possible. Short of gagging a kid or bribing him/her with candy, I don’t see how this can be accomplished.
No Breaking Stuff
Breaking tools or other equipment during this period is associated with a loss of wealth for the coming year; therefore tradesmen and business people in general take great precautions to prevent it. So if you are clumsy by nature, just stay in your bedroom.
No Hospital Visits
A visit to the hospital during this period is believed to bring illness to the person in question for the duration of coming year; therefore visits to the hospital are best avoided, except in cases of extreme emergency. But to be fair, it’s not like people just go to ICU unless there is an urgent need surely?
Avoid Being Robbed
None of us want to be robbed but during new year, it is especially important not to let anyone steal your money or posessions as this is believed to bring bad financial luck for the rest of the year.
Avoid borrowing money
Money should not be lent on New Year’s Day, and all debts have to be paid by New Year’s Eve, and if someone owes you money, do not go to his or her home to demand it as this also brings about ill luck.
The Rice Jar Should Not Be Empty
During the new year, it is wise to keep your container of rice filled. An empty rice container is said to cause anxiety, as the cessation of cooking during the New Year period is an ill omen.
No Torn Or Old Clothes
Do not wear clothes that are torn or damaged. Even if your kids wear torn clothes in the first lunar month, it is said to bring bad luck.
Killing of any living being should be avoided from the 1st to 15th of the Lunar New Year as blood is considered an ill omen, which will cause misfortune. We think killing in general should be avoided at all times and not just during this time frame.
Do Not Wear White Or Black
Do not wear white or black clothes as these two colors are traditionally associated with mourning.
Tell us if you have heard of these taboos and if your family follow them. Hope you all had a wonderful new year and here’s wishing you a year of prosperity and happiness from all of us here at Lifestyle Collective!