Taboos and superstitions of the Lunar New Year
THERE are a number of superstitions surrounding the Lunar New Year, to avoid bad luck in the new year and to attract good luck. Here is a list compiled by The Peninsula Manila.
House Cleaning: All house cleaning must be done prior to the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pans, and other cleaning equipment must be put away. If any cleaning utensils, especially brooms, are used during the holiday, it will bring bad luck because you will be sweeping out all the good fortune from your house.
Holiday Greetings: During this season, greet everyone with a “Kung Hei Fat Choi” which means “All the very best for a prosperous New Year.”
Bringing in the New Year and Expelling the Old: Shooting off firecrackers on New Year’s Eve is the Chinese way of sending out the old and welcoming in the New Year. Firecrackers and loud gongs are also used to scare away evil spirits who may disrupt one’s good fortune. On the stroke of midnight, every door in the house and even windows have to be open to allow the old year to go out.
Wear Red: Everyone buys new clothes to celebrate the New Year. Red clothing is preferred during this festive season since it is considered a bright, happy color and assures the wearer a sunny and bright future. Coincidentally, many retail shops have sales at this time.
Lai See for Luck: Children and unmarried friends, as well as close relative, all receive lai see or “lucky money” in red envelopes from friends and family for good fortune.
Pay Up: All debts have to be paid before the New Year. Nothing should be lent on New Year’s Day, as anyone who will do so will be lending all year.
No to Broke: The year will get off on a bad start if food is served or eaten from broken or chipped crockery, as this signifies eating into your own capital. Do not use knives or scissors on New Year’s Day as this may cut off good fortune.