Chinese New Year,  Culture,  English Version

What You Should Not Do During Chinese New Year

During Chinese New Year, there are many things you should do or must do. You can find the answers from previous New Year article. However, you should also be careful about what you mustn’t do in Chinese New Year. Let’s see taboos and superstitions.

Things You Should Not Do During Chinese New Year

1. Do not turn off the light on Chinese New Year’s Eve

On the night of Chinese New Year’s Eve, do not turn off the light especially if people who worship God in the family. They believe that only by turning on the light can greet the new year with brilliance. It is more like a sign of hope, shining throughout the year.

Remember to keep the light on everywhere at home. Use the night light when you are sleeping. Make sure your house is bright for whole night.

2. Do not clean or sweep

People clean their houses before Chinese New Year. It’s to sweep away bad luck for whole year. However, it becomes a taboo during the actual celebration. Cleaning or throwing out garbage may sweep away good luck instead. So cleaning in the right time is very important.

3. Do not wash clothes or hair

On the first day and second day of Chinese New Year, do not wash clothes, wash hair, take shower or cut hair. They think that these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (水神, the Water God). Washing and cutting your hair are like washing away and cutting off your prosperity and wealth.

4. Do not eat porridge for breakfast

In ancient times, the poor would not be able to eat rice and eat porridge. If they eat porridge on the first day of the new year, it will lead to poverty all year long.

5. Do not say bad words and curse

Saying words with negative meanings such as death, poverty, ghosts, and bad-mouthing are things not to do during Chinese New Year as they will bring you bad luck all year long.

On the other hand, number “4” has the similar sound to “death” in Chinese. People in Taiwan usually keep “4” away from everything. Because no one wants to bring bad luck to themselves.

6. No killing

Because the knife is a murder weapon, it can cut open the livestock. Blood is considered an ill omen, which will cause misfortunes such as a knife wound, or a bloody disaster. So killing should be avoided from the 1st to 15th of the Chinese New Year.

7. Avoid breaking ceramics or glass

Breaking things during this period is associated with a loss of wealth for the coming year. If a plate or bowl is dropped, immediately wrap it with red paper while murmuring 歲歲平安(sue sue ping an). It asks for peace and safety every year. 歲 (sue) is a homophone of 碎 (sue) which means “broken” or “shattered.” 

8. Avoid taking medicine

Have a healthy body is the most important thing in life. So try to keep medicine away during Chinese New Year to avoid being sick the entire year. However, if you are having serious health problem, it is necessary to take medicine or go to the hospital. Don’t make joke about your health.

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9. Avoid fighting and crying

Weeping on the first day of Chinese New Year isn’t a good beginning. People think that those who cry will be crying throughout the year. Children’s crying is believed to bring misfortune to the whole family. So everyone should try your best not to cry or fight with someone else during Chinese New Year.

All you need to do is be happy and make sure your loved ones are happy. Smile and wish others a Happy Chinese New Year.

10. Avoid wearing black or white clothes

Color black and white are associated with mourning traditionally. You can see those two colors on funerals. People wear red color clothes during Chinese New Year instead. Wear red as it’s a lucky color for the Taiwanese. It’s bright and brings positive energy.

It’s good to know what to do and what not to do during Chinese New Year. Try to avoid those taboos and enjoy your holiday!! I wish you have a Happy Chinese New Year!!



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