What do you know about Chinese New Year dos and don’ts, besides avoiding black (for very good, very HOT reasons)?
A lot of these traditions boil down to starting the year as you intend to live it: surrounded by good and avoiding the bad! We asked our team about some common (and maybe not so common) CNY pantang, and this is what they had to say:
Probably the most commonly known CNY custom. Sweeping during New Year means sweeping your luck away, so give your broom a long vacation. They’ve earned it.
Beware the wash
Under the same logic, washing your hair or doing laundry is more luck down the drain! Do a double load and scrub your scalp until it tingles on New Year’s eve.
This isn’t JUST for New Year, but breaking things can also signify bad luck. Some families (do a thing) to avoid this fate. But if you happen to break a mirror for 7 years of bad luck while on Chinese New Year break…sorrylah, no force from the West OR East can save you.
I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying
Take care when you’re watching those jiwang festive ads – crying is no way to start the year!
Losing the point
Using knives, needles and other sharp objects are a no-no during Chinese New Year. Which is a great excuse to have all the cooking done before, so our most beloved family chefs can take a break. But if you tear your pants…please get creative.
Any outstanding loans or debts should be paid before New Year, or they’ll follow you around for the next 12 months. So if your friend is particularly insistent that you pay up for the thing they belanja-ed you before our first MCO…be awesome and pay them back.
Many families will go vegetarian for at least the first day of New Year, (for reasons). You should also avoid porridge, which while comforting and easy to digest, is pretty recognisable as sick person food. And this is a year you absolutely, positively don’t want to be a sick person.
Sleeping in…or out?
Some say everyone should be up early on the first day of New Year. Some say you shouldn’t wake them up, (for reasons). We say both can coexist – set your alarm! Remember, the earlier you go meet family, the earlier you can claim your ang pows…
Rice, rice, baby
Your rice containers should be nice and full, so you have enough to eat all through the year. If yours is looking a little empty, now’s the time to stock up!
Light ‘em up
While you’re at home, keep the lights in your living room turned on – so your house shines like gold. Bling bling, babes.
Pantang or no pantang, it’s good to be with family if you’re able. And while this celebration is unlike all those that came before (may we never have to say that again), we hope you get to celebrate it with the folks you love. Just like Ah Boy here in our Chinese New Year video: