Chinese New Year

In Corporate Etiquette, featured, Social Etiquette, Travel Etiquette by treska roden

 Chinese New Year starts in a few days.

Lanterns depict Chinese New Year

The festival starts the day before which is 10 February and spreads across 15 days as Chinese people welcome The Year of the Dragon. The festivities conclude with Lantern Festival on 24 February.

Traditionally, many taboos are associated with the Chinese New Year.  Here are a few of them:

1. Don’t Say anyone’s Name to Wake Them
On New Year’s Day morning, don’t use a person’s name to wake them or encourage them to get up–otherwise you will have to urge them to do tasks and projects all year.

2. Don’t Awaken A Sleeping Person with “Happy New Year!”
On New Year’s Day, don’t awaken sleeping individuals with New Year greetings. Wait until they rise or they will be sick in bed for 2024.

3. Avoid Washing Hair 
It is best to wait until after New Year’s to wash your hair to avoid ‘washing your fortune away.’

4. Avoid Congee, Meat, or Fish for Breakfast
You don’t want to start the year “poor,” by eating Chinese porridge, as this is a bad omen. So eat cooked rice for the first meal of the year to invite prosperity. Meat should not be eaten at this breakfast out of respect for the Buddhist gods.

5. Don’t Wear Damaged Clothing 
Buy new clothing and avoid clothes with tears, rips, and damage. However, do not buy new shoes.

6. Avoid Doing Laundry on 1st and 2nd Day
Water should be conserved on these special days to prevent washing away good luck. 

7. Avoid Using a Knife, Scissors, or Sharp Blade
It is said that if you use a knife or scissors on the first day of the New Year, quarrels or disputes are inevitable all year long. 

8. Avoid Moving the Financial Needle
Avoid financial and budgetary discussions on New Year’s Day. The saying goes, “If you move the needle on New Year’s Day, watch out, you may prick the dragon which will make you grow a stye.” 

9. Avoid Chopping Wood
The word for firewood in Chinese is “chai,” which sounds a lot like the word for wealth, “cai.” Thus, on New Year’s Day, one should avoid using an axe to split firewood, because you might be chopping your wealth.

10. Avoid Borrowing Cash
Avoid starting the New Year with someone else’s money, or legend says you’ll need loans all year. If you start the year lending money, you will suffer loss all year. According to tradition, one should pay all debts by New Year’s Eve.

11. Don’t Nap During New Year Celebrations
You should avoid napping on New Year’s Day or you will be lazy all year.

12. Do Not Sweep or Take Out Garbage
You shouldn’t sweep or take out the garbage on New Year’s Day because you will sweep away prosperity, wealth, and good fortune for 2024.

13. Theft & Pick Pockets
Avoid pickpockets and people taking objects, including money, from your pocket during the Spring Festival, or all of your wealth will be stolen in the coming year.  

14. Avoid Debt Collection
During the Chinese New Year, it is considered bad luck to be involved in collecting debts.

15. A Married Woman May Not Leave Her Home or Visit Family 
On New Year’s Day, a woman should not leave her home or she will risk bad fortune for the coming year. Instead, as a wife, she should entertain visitors in her home.