Chinese Superstitions: Chinese New Year

When the Chinese New Year rolls around, there are many who practice numerous superstitions associated with this celebratory holiday. It doesn’t matter what year that you were born in; many Chinese follow various customs when the New Year is in effect. Some may seem silly, while others make sense. You can be the judge.


When the clock strikes midnight, some believe that all of the doors and windows of a home should be opened so that the old year may be allowed to leave. As for the first day of the New Year, there are many superstitions that linger. Numerous people will not eat meat during this day, believing that this act will ensure them a long and prosperous life. For specific things that are eaten on the first day, some choose to eat an entire fish, which represents abundance, as well as togetherness. Eating a chicken that still has its head and feet is thought to result in prosperity. When eating noodles with this meal, they should be left uncut, in hopes for a long life. On New Year’s Day, a household that has a plant that blooms is a fortunate sign for the year to come. Flowers and plants symbolize rebirth, as well as new growth.


As for the house itself, it should be cleaned from top to bottom before the first day of the New Year. When New Year’s Eve arrives, all cleaning supplies and equipment, such as brushes, brooms, dustpans and dusters should be put in their proper places. The task of sweeping or dusting should not be performed. This is because some believe that this will sweep away any good fortune. After the first day of the New Year, the floors can be swept once again. Numerous steps should be taken in the proper way to sweep the floor, ending with the dirt being taken out through the back of the house.


It is not a good thing to owe any money to anyone by the start of the New Year. It is recommended to pay all debts. On the first day of the year, you should refrain from lending out anything because it is believed that if you do, you will be doing so for the rest of the year. On New Year’s Day, you should not utter a bad or unkind word. The subject of death or dying are not to be discussed during this time as well. In keeping with the tradition of looking forward to a new beginning, mentioning the past year is also unwise.


On New Year’s Day, you shouldn’t be a crybaby or it may cause you to cry throughout the rest of the new year. On this day, parents should have patience with the kiddies and refrain from delivering a spanking to unruly children. Washing hair on the first day of the year is also a no-no. This is due to the belief that all good luck for the upcoming year will be washed away. Knifes and scissors should not be used during the first day of the year because it is thought to “cut off” good fortune.


When celebrating this holiday, the lucky color to wear is red. This is because the color red is looked upon as a bright and jolly, thought to bring good luck for the upcoming year.