Top 10 taboos during the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year
Top 10 taboos during the Chinese New Year

As the Spring Festival is the start of a new year, Chinese people believe that, what you do then will affect your luck in the coming year. There are a number of New Year’s superstitions and taboos during the Chinese New Year. Some are taboos on the first day of the Chinese New Year and some are superstitions for the whole New Year Festival season (from the 1st to 15th of the Lunar New Year).

Top 10 taboos during the Chinese New Year are:

1. Avoid taking medicine at Chinese New Year or Going to Hospital
It is a taboo for a person to take medicine on the first day of the lunar year. People should not take medicines, or see the doctor till the Lantern Festival; otherwise they may suffer from disease all the year round, In some places, after the bell announcing the New Year at midnight New Year’s Day, sickly people break their medicine pots in the belief that this custom will drive the illness away in the coming year. A visit to the hospital during this period is believed to bring illness to the person therefore visits to the hospital are avoided, except in cases of extreme emergency.


2. Do not say negative words
Words with negative meaning should be avoided in daily conversation, such as breaking, running out, death, empty, break kill,ghost, killing, sickness, pain, losing, and poverty. The reason behind this should be obvious. You wouldn’t want to jinx yourself or bring those misfortunes onto you and your loved ones.


3. Don’t sweep or take out garbage
There is a Chinese New Year taboo on sweeping the house and dumping the trash. Before the Spring Festival, there is a day of cleaning. That is to sweep away the bad luck. But during the actual celebration, it becomes a taboo.The act of sweeping on this day is associated with sweeping wealth away. Taking out garbage symbolizes dumping out the good luck or good fortune from the house.


4. Do not break ceramics or glass
Breaking things will break your connection to prosperity and fortune. Never break a bowl, plate, glass, vase, or mirror, because breaking may result in money loss and family split in the future If a plate or bowl is dropped, immediately wrap it with red paper or cloth, and then littered on the fifth day of the New Year. Another remedy is to say, “Sui Sui Ping An,” which means safe and sound every year.After the New Year, throw the wrapped up shards into a lake or river.


5. Don’t wash clothes and hair
People do not wash clothes on the first and second day, because the first two days of the Chinese New Year are considered the birthday of the Water God. So, if you wash clothes during these two days, the god will be offended. Therefore, it is seen as not a good thing to “wash one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the New Year.


6. Needlework and Using Scissors or other sharp objects should not be done
In some Chinese New Year superstitions, women are not expected to do needle work during the festival, which may give rise to unnecessary squabbles and quarrels with family members or neighbors.
Just like doing needlework, using scissors is also an omen for possible quarrels with others. If you want to go through the year peacefully, it is a big ‘NO’ to use the scissors during the first lunar month. Sharp objects in general will cut your stream of wealth and success. This is why 99% of hair salons are closed during the holidays. Hair cutting is taboo and forbidden until Lunar February 2, when all festivities are over.


7.  A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents
A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents. Daughters are viewed as outsiders after they get married. If they return home on the first day, their parents would be stricken by poverty. Traditionally a married daughter visits the house of her parents on the second day of Chinese New Yea


8. Keep children from crying
It is believed that the cry of children forebodes disease and misfortune.The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family, so parents do their best to keep children from crying by whatever means possible.


9. Don’t eat porridge and meat for breakfast
Porridge is a taboo for breakfast on the first day’s morning. Porridge should not be eaten, because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast. porridge reflects a down and out life. And people don’t want to start the year “poor” as this is a bad omen… Besides, meat should not be eaten at this breakfast out of respect for the (Buddhist) gods (who are believed to be against killing of animals).People usually eat dumplings as the first meal of the New Year.


10. Avoid borrowing money
Money should not be lent on New Year’s Day, and all debts have to be paid by New Year’s Eve, and, if someone who owes you money, do not go to his or her home to demand it. Anyone who does so it is said will be unlucky all the year. Do not lend or borrow anything on the first day of lunar January, especially money. Lending money is an unlucky omen, which means economical loss, so people should not offend friends or neighbors by borrowing something from them. Asking for return of debts owed is also a Chinese New Year taboo.

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