For most Chinese people, Chinese New Year is the festive celebration that gives family members to spend more time with the family and strengthen their relationship. It is also a time where the family gathers to have an annual reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve and celebrate the festival together. Besides reunion dinner, Chinese families usually practice a lot of old family traditions when celebrating Chinese New Year. Although they are believed to be superstitious, but they are part of the family’s identity that keeps the family together. Despite living in the modern era, it is important for you to know that there are some of the do’s and don’ts when celebrating Chinese New Year. Don’t know much about Chinese New Year customs? Fret not! We have a list of the top 10 Chinese New Year do’s and don’ts for you before you’re going back to your hometown!
1. DO wear red
Red is believed to be the lucky colour during Chinese New Year because red represents prosperity. The colour is also considered as the appropriate colour as it matches the festive celebration. Any other bright colour such as yellow can also be worn during Chinese New Year too.
2. DO greet with auspicious wishings
Speak only about the positive things and wish your family and friends well to ensure the smooth year ahead. The more wishes the better. The most important part about Chinese New Year is to keep smiling and maintain the positive attitude and good luck will come to you. So, do greet your friend with ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ or any other Chinese auspicious wishes!
3. DO eat vegetarian food only on the first day of Chinese New Year
Do eat vegetarian food because it is part of the Buddhist culture to cleanse yourself with vegetables. The vegetarian dishes should include ‘fat choy’ or black moss, lotus seeds, noodles, and Chinese black mushrooms. Each of them carries a special meaning and they are mostly about prosperity, longevity, and harmony.
4. DO wear new clothes
Wearing brand new clothes during Chinese New Year signifies a fresh start for the rest of the year. From head-to-toe, everything should be brand new.
5. DO remove your shoes
Shoes usually bring in dirt and dust into the house and since it wasn’t allowed to clean the house on the first day of Chinese New Year, do remove your shoes before entering the house. It’s a sign of respect and polite to the house owners too.
6. DON’T cut your hair
One should never cut their hair within the 15 days of Chinese New Year because this might cut off the luck and fortune. Other than that, showering on the first day of Chinese New Year will wash away the luck away as well. So, do cut your hair and wash your hair before the New Year day.
7. DON’T swear/curse or speak of death
Don’t swear and speak of death during Chinese New Year to avoid troubles from coming at you. Avoid quarreling as well because it will spoils the mood of Chinese New Year and the problems continue to go on for the rest of the year until the next CNY.
8. DON’T visit friends and relatives on Day 3
Day three is considered as a bad day to visit your friends and relatives as it was believed to be a day where evil spirits roaming on the earth. Day 3 is said to be a grave-visiting day hence visiting friends might bring bad luck into the house. So, do remember to stay at home instead if you don’t want to get shut outside your friend’s house.
9. DON’T sweep the floor
Spring cleaning was meant to be done before Chinese New Year to sweep away the bad luck and evil spirits in the house. But you should never clean the house on the actual New Year Day because cleaning the house may have sweep away all your good luck. Do clean the house after the New Year day
10. DON’T wear white or black as they are colors of mourning
Black or white symbolize death and mourning so it is unacceptable to wear both colours during Chinese New Year. It’s disrespectful and you should opt for the bright clothing instead.