Happy New Year!
Today’s really important in setting the scene for the year of the Monkey. Here’s the top 10 taboos to be avoided on the first day of the New Year!
1. Welcoming the New Year
According to tradition, people stay up late to welcome the New Year, and then to let off firecrackers and fireworks to scare off bad spirits and Nian, the New Year monster.
Taking medicine on the first day of the lunar year means one will get ill for a whole year.
3. New Year’s breakfast
Porridge should not be eaten, because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast, and people don’t want to start the year poor!
People do not wash clothes on the first and second day, because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (水神, the Water God).
5. Washing hair
Hair must not be washed on the first day of the lunar year. In the Chinese language, hair (发) has the same pronunciation and 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 year.
6. The broom
If you sweep on this day then your wealth will be swept away too.
7. Crying children
A crying child is believed to bring bad luck to the family, so parents do their best to keep children as happy as possible.
Money should not be lent on New Year’s Day, and all debts should be paid by New Year’s Eve.
Wearing threadbare clothes can cause more bad luck for the year. All white or black clothes are discouraged as these two colours are traditionally associated with mourning.
10. Giving of certain gifts
Giving clocks, scissors, and pears is a big no no, as all have a bad meaning in Chinese culture.