10 Things You Should Never Do in Chinese New Year
The Top 10 of Bad Luck
Finally revealing what I did so wrong, scaring my friends away, here the list of things one should avoid around Chinese New Year.
1. Buying books is bad luck because the character for “book” (書/书) is a homonym to the character for “lose” (輸/输).
2. Offering anything in fours, as the number four (四), pronounced s?, can sound like “death” (死) in Chinese.
3. Buying a pair of shoes is considered bad luck. The character for “shoe” (鞋) is a homophone for the character 諧/谐, which means “rough” in Cantonese; in Mandarin it is also a homophone for the character for “evil” (邪).
4. Getting a hair-cut in the first lunar month puts a curse on maternal uncles. Therefore, people get a hair-cut before the New Year’s Eve.
5. Washing your hair is also considered to be washing away one’s own luck
6. Sweeping the floor is usually forbidden on the first day, as it will sweep away the good fortune and luck for the New Year.
7. Saying words like “finished” and “gone” is inauspicious on the New Year, so sometimes people would avoid these words by saying “I have eaten my meal so that it disappeared” rather than say “I have finished my meal.”
8. Talking about death is inappropriate for the first few days of Chinese New Year, as it is considered inauspicious.
9. Avoid clothes in black and white, as black is a symbol of bad luck, and white is a traditional Chinese funeral colour.
10. Foul language is inappropriate during the Chinese New Year
IMAGE: Paolo Camera