With Chinese New Year celebrations beginning next week (1 February), we wanted to celebrate this ancient holiday with 10 unique traditions that you may not be familiar with. For many westerners, these may come as a surprise so it's important to consider these when the new moon is upon us!
From avoiding certain breakfast options to suppressing some deep emotions, here are 10 of the most unique and wonderful traditions of Chinese New Year...
Yep, you heard it. For those of you who enjoy some tasty oats in the morning to keep you fuller for longer, you'd be branded 'poor' in the eyes of these traditions.
Legend has it that if you start the new year with a dish that is synonymous with those who are impoverished, you'll be setting yourself up for the next 12 months with a bad omen.
So, maybe think twice before cracking open your next packet of Quaker oats!
No Washing Hair or Clothes
There are some superior feelings in this world - getting into bed after a long day, eating dinner like a king and being clean! In the eyes of Chinese New Year traditions, if you were to have a quick bath/shower or do laundry you'd be washing away all your potential good luck for the next 12 months.
Luckily for us clean-freaks, this tradition only stands for the first day of Lunar New Year celebrations, so you won't have to reach for those nose pegs just yet!
No Unlucky Words
If you're someone who gets told they 'don't have a filter', we strongly suggest trying your hardest to 'zip it for the first day of Chinese New Year. Here's why...
Ancient traditions have told that words spoken such as 'death', 'finished' and 'gone' are highly taboo over this period as they are believed to seal your inevitable fate.
Before you get wound up and turn to expletives or 'unlucky' words, take a second to weigh up if it's worth it!
The best advice we can lend you with this tradition, is to hide that copy of The Notebook in a cupboard far, far away from reach because no tears are welcome at Chinese New Year.
Crying is perceived to bring bad luck to a family, especially if children are turning on the waterworks. We're counting on you to maintain our levels of good luck for 2022, keep those tears at bay!
No Medicine (exception: chronic conditions)
No - you are reading this correctly. Under normal circumstances, the Aura team has always provided advice to benefit from Chinese herbal remedies. This festival marks an exception to the rule, as it is branded taboo for someone to brew/consume any form of herbal medicine on the first day of the lunar year.
The belief is that if someone breaks this rule, they will be cured with bad health for the whole year. Of course, if someone has a chronic condition and has been prescribed medication they must put this immediate health concern first.
No Borrowing Money
Chinese culture insists on enjoying the celebrations of lunar new year without any worry or pondering thoughts, such as debt or being short of cash. Asking for money brings bad luck to both parties involved between the first and fifth day of this tradition.
Make sure to fill those pockets with wads of cash and hold out until payday, you'll thank us!
No Visiting the Wife's Family
A visit to the in-laws is never enjoyable chaps, so now you've got a good excuse to miss the next trip. If you return to your other half's parents on New Year's Day, you're said to encourage marriage problems later down the line along with a stream of bad luck.
In Eastern culture, the bride moves into the groom's property after marriage, where multiple generations will live under the same roof. Therefore, it is common for the wife to celebrate this holiday with her in-laws rather than her own family.
The families are encouraged to re-connect on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year.
This entry may come as a relief for many, so let those dishes pill up and the muddy dog run wild in the living room - you aren't lifting a finger!
Anytime up until the first day of lunar new year, cleaning is welcomed as it is believed to brush away any bad luck of time gone by. During the actual celebration, these chores become taboo.
Best practice from Eastern culture is to throw out garbage after the 5th day of celebrations, we hope your bins can hold out until then!
No Smashing Glass
If you're a person whose labelled as 'accident prone', it may be worth staying as far away from the kitchen as possible on the first day of celebrations. Worst case scenario, if a ceramic/glass plate or bowl is smashed on the floor, it is common in Chinese culture to wrap up the shards in red paper and ask for forgiveness.
Phrases such as 'suì suì píng ān' (岁岁平安), meaning 'may you have peace year after year' are spoken to ask for peace and security for the year ahead. After the first day of celebration, legend states that you should dispose of the wrapped up shards far away from your home to avoid any bad luck returning back to you and your family.
No Using Sharp Objects
To round off the Chinese new year traditions, the use of sharp objects (scissors, knives, needles) should under no circumstances be used on the first day of celebration.
It is believed that these objects will cut off your stream of wealth/success, hence why mostly all hair salons in China will be closed on the first day of lunar new year. On that note, hair cutting is also taboo and forbidden until the 2nd day of festivities.
For those of you who are looking to get a perm or fresh skin fade, you've got our recommendation to get those luscious locks in shape before the 1st of February!
Now that you're set to receive good luck for the whole of Chinese new year, we'd love to hear your goals and predictions for the next 12 months!
On that note, from the Aura team we want to wish your family and friends the best of luck and look forward to see what the Year of the Tiger brings for us all.