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Today, February 12 2021, marks the beginning of Chinese New Year – the Year of the OX.
Each Chinese New Year is celebrated over the course of 15 days, starting the day before (February 11) and end just over two weeks later. The Year of the Ox is steeped in tradition, with the New Year period also known as the Spring Festival.
While the occasion is one of celebration and resolutions, it is also rife with superstition – there are numerous things that must be avoided to steer clear of bad luck.
Here are 16 things you must not do if you are to dodge a year’s worth of illness or bad luck.
Consuming any form of medicine on the first day of the festivities is believed to resign the person taking it to an illness set to last the entire year.
If this is the case, it could prove quite tricky trying to explain your year-long absence to your employers.
2. New Year’s Breakfast
Though porridge is commonly known as one of the healthier breakfast options, superstition states how it should be avoided on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
This is because traditionally, porridge is seen as a breakfast mainly eaten by the poor – something interpreted as a bad omen.
This may be one item on the list many will rejoice at reading, as according to Chinese New Year superstition, you should never wash clothes on the first two days at the turn of the year.
These 48 hours are dedicated to honouring the birthday of Shuishen, the Water God.
4. Washing Hair
Clearly against the idea of washing almost anything during the latter stages of the festivities, hair must not be washed on the first day of the new year.
The reasoning behind this is because "Hair", in the Chinese language is has similar pronunciation and the same character as "fa" in "facai", which is translated as "to become wealthy".
This means washing your hair is seen as washing your wealth away.
5. Sharp Objects
Similarly to hair washing, an accident using sharp objects such as knives is thought to lead to "inauspicious things" which also includes the depletion of finances.
6. Going Out
This one is exclusive to women, females who depart their house on New Year’s Day will endure bad luck for the remainder of the year.
A married daughter is also forbidden from visiting her parents as it is believed she will bring bad luck upon the rest of the family.
There are no rules surrounding keeping men indoors.
7. The Broom
In order to retain your wealth, you must refrain from cleaning your house and sweeping the floor, as it is thought that is believed to be the equivalent of sweeping away your wealth.
8. Crying Children
One of the more difficult things to avoid on this list, as children can infamously be temperamental.
However, it is in everyone’s best interests if children are kept in a good mood for the first day of the year as tears are set to bring bad luck upon the family.
This is one that you probably want to be wary of around the clock, but particularly on the first day of the new Lunar Year, as being stolen from on this date represents the idea of having all your wealth stolen over the course of the year.
Try to resist the temptation to borrow money on New Year’s Day, while ensuring all debt is paid back by New Year’s Eve.
11. Empty Jars
Ensure your Tupperware is stocked up to the brim as any empty jars are seen as a bad omen during this period.
12. Wearing damaged clothes
Be sure to wear your best outfits, as torn or ripped clothing can cause, you guessed it, more bad luck.
13. Killing Things
Often looked down upon all year round anyway, killing things, or producing blood, is seen as a bad omen that will cause more misfortune.
14. Monochrome fashion
Though you may find black and white outfits suit you best, they should be avoided in this period as they are the two colours most traditionally connoted to mourning.
15. Seeing in the New Year
It Is apparently vital that everyone who celebrates it must stay up late to welcome the New Year as well as setting off fireworks to scare off inauspicious spirits and Nian, the New Year monster.
16. Avoid giving certain gifts
There is nothing wrong with feeling generous, but refrain from buying clocks, scissors, and pears as gifts due to their bad meaning within Chinese culture.
- Chinese New Year
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