19 Taboos to Avoid During Chinese New Year

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  • Everyone should be in a festival and joyous mood, creating a joyful and hilarious atmosphere. People should refrain from arguments. Parents should not scold or punish children, and everyone should adopt a conciliatory attitude towards everyone else.
  • Women should refrain from using knives or scissors, as these are implements associated with anger, danger and the cutting off of good luck.
  • Do not sweep the floor or dump the trash on the first day of New Year, as this will take away wealth luck from the house.
  • Do not have a lunch nap at noon; otherwise people will be lazy all year long.
  • Do not wear black or white to visit friends, as this brings bad luck.
  • Do not visit friend’s house if a family member has just passed away.
  • Do not eat rice porridge in the morning at breakfast, otherwise you cannot add to your wealth luck in that year. Only poor people eat rice porridge, and at Chinese New Year they have no choice.
  • Better not to eat meat on the morning of Chinese New Year, because many Gods who are vegetarians arrive for New Year’s Day in the morning.
  • Don’t wake people up by calling their names; otherwise the sleeping person will be lethargic through the year.
  • Don’t take unnecessary medicine; or you will lose your good health during the year.
  • Don’t wash clothes, because New Year’s Day is the birthday of the God of Water.
  • Do try to avoid breaking any dish, plate, bowl or cup, as this usually means bad money luck coming. In case it happens, put the broken pieces in a round container until after the New Year is over before disposing of the pieces.
  • If someone owes you money, do not ask for the money back on this day. Otherwise people will owe you money through the year.
  • Don’t let people take anything away from your pocket or purse, because that creates the cause for you to lose money during the year.
  • If you cry on New Year’s Day, you will cry all through the year. Therefore children are tolerated and are not spanked, even if they happen to be mischievous during this day.
  • On New Year’s Day, we are not supposed to wash our hair, because it would mean washing away good luck for the New Year.
  • It is considered unlucky to greet anyone in his or her bedroom, so that is why everyone – even the sick – should get dressed and sit in the living room.
  • Don’t use foul language or unlucky words. Negative terms and the word “four” (Sae), which phonetically sound like death, must not be uttered. Telling ghost stories or stories about death and dying are totally taboo. Instead talk about your future plans and dreams for the coming year ahead.
  • It is considered unfavorable to pack / doggy bag leftovers while eating out during Chinese New Year