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Home / More Lifestyle / Chinese New Year 2020: Avoid your wife’s family, debt repayment and other taboos

Chinese New Year 2020: Avoid your wife’s family, debt repayment and other taboos

With this festival comes a host of superstitions that are apparently supposed to dictate how the next twelve months will play out for each individual. These ten superstitions surrounding Chinese New Year are to be avoided. Read on.

more-lifestyle Updated: Jan 23, 2020 16:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Delhi
The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is celebrated on the occasion of the beginning of a new year according to the Chinese traditional calendar.
The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is celebrated on the occasion of the beginning of a new year according to the Chinese traditional calendar.(Instagram/ guigzphoto)

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is fast approaching this weekend. It is celebrated on the occasion of the beginning of a new year according to the Chinese traditional calendar. The first day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated when the first new moon appears, which is usually between 21 January to 20 February. The festivities usually start the day before the new year and continue until the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the new year. This year, in 2020, the Chinese new year will be celebrated on 25th January 2020. Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of the twelve animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac – last year was the Year of the Pig and 2020 is the Year of the Rat- the animal which symbolizes wealth and the beginning of a new day. With this festival comes a host of superstitions that are apparently supposed to dictate how the next twelve months will play out for each individual. These superstitions surrounding Chinese New Year are to be avoided on the first day of the festival:

1. Washing Hair: Washing hair on the first day is considered bad luck. In the Chinese language, hair has the same pronunciation and character as ‘fa’ in facai, 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 New Year. The same goes for cutting one’s hair.

Also read: Tokyo, Bangkok, Taipei top destinations for travellers during Lunar New Year

2. Medicine: Avoid taking medicine on the first day, since taking medicine on the first day of the New Year means one will get ill for a whole year. According to the superstitions, you should avoid going to the doctor, getting surgery or shots on this day too.

3. Wife’s family: Traditionally, the bride moves into the groom’s home after marriage and celebrates the Chinese New Year with her in-laws. Returning to her parents on New Year’s Day means that there are marriage problems and this may bring bad luck to the entire family. The couple can visit the wife’s family on the 2nd day. This could be the perfect excuse to not visit, just in case.

4. Going out: A young woman or girl should not leave her house on the first day, otherwise she will be plagued with bad luck for the entire coming year. This is also the reason why the day of the Lantern Festival is also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day since the girls are allowed to stay out at night and enjoy themselves in social festivities on the last day of the festival.

5. Cleaning: Washing laundry on the first and the second day is considered a taboo because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (the Water God). Even sweeping your home with a broom means sweeping your wealth away too.

Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of the twelve animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac – last year was the Year of the Pig and 2020 is the Year of the Rat- the animal which symbolizes wealth and the beginning of a new day.
Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of the twelve animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac – last year was the Year of the Pig and 2020 is the Year of the Rat- the animal which symbolizes wealth and the beginning of a new day. ( Instagram/ rudis_photo )

6. New Year blessings: New Year blessings (bài nián) are very important, and so it is crucial to not wish someone still in bed, otherwise, they’ll be bed-ridden for the entire year. Forcefully waking someone up or telling them to wake up is also considered wrong, you don’t want someone to be rushed around and bossed around for the year. You can sleep without any interruptions!

7. Crying children: The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family so parents do their best to keep children as happy as possible or stay away from them if they are not yours.

8. Sharp objects: The use of knives, scissors and other sharp objects is to be avoided as any accident is thought to lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth.

9. Monochrome fashion: Red is supposed to be incorporated in everything from clothes, hairband to the insoles of shoes. White or black clothes are traditionally associated with mourning and so are barred.

10. Debt repayment: Demanding debt repayment or borrowing money is taboo. On the occasion of harmony and peace, this custom is a show of understanding to let everyone celebrate without worry. Demanding repayment brings bad luck to both parties. However, it’s fair game after the 5th day.

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