Beauty. Fashion. Food. Travel. Lifestyle.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chinese New Year Traditions

Hi Friends! It's Jo again from White Roses and Coffee. Thanks to Kim who invited me to talk more about Chinese traditions. In the last post, I shared some Chinese pregnancy superstitions. Chinese New Year is just around the corner (Jan 31) so I will be talking about customs and taboos revolving around Chinese New Year. This time of year is not only about delectable food but there is also a hefty list of taboos which affect the Chinese all around the world. I've already written a post on some of the CNY traditions on my blog last year but I'd like to add in more which have been passed on to me from the matriarchs of my family. There are tons of them -so please brace yourself! LOL!

Clean The House 
Having a clean home is crucial if you want good energy and prosperity in the New Year. 

Forbidden Words
On the first day of Chinese New Year, you are not allowed to say "die", "break", "gone", and "poor". 
These are considered unlucky words. Keep positive at all times. 
Refrain from using the word "four" because in Chinese, it means "to die". 

 Don't Cry
Never cry on the first day. This applies to everyone. If you cry on New Year's Day, you'll be crying all year long. 

Don't Buy Any Reading Material
Do not buy any reading material, especially books, because "book" is a homonym for 'lose'.  
Bookstores are not opened during the first few days of CNY. 

Trash = Treasure
Trash is treated like treasure. You may only throw away the trash on the fifth day of CNY. 

Firecrackers
According to Chinese mythology, there is a monster named "Nian". He's half-lion and half dragon and would eat humans. In order to scare him away, the people would use firecrackers. This has become a prominent CNY tradition. 

 Stay Up Late
Children are encouraged to stay up late on the eve of the New Year. 
This is to "guard the years" for their parents so that the parents can live longer. 

 Release Animals
It is also recommended to release bird, fish, or any animal in captivity. This is believed to bring good luck throughout the year.  One should also refrain from slaughtering animals on the first day of CNY. 

 Don't Nap
To prevent laziness, one should not take a nap on New Year's Day. 

Pay Off All Your Debt 
Old debt is like a bad omen for New Year. Do not lend or borrow any money. 

No Knives. No Scissors.
Refrain from using knifes and scissors as it is believed that it may cut off fortune! 

Red Envelope Rule
Do give red envelopes (stuffed with money) to children and unmarried adults. 
You only do this if you are married. This is to "spread the luck" to whomever receives it. 

Do Not Give Any Taboo Gifts 
This includes clocks (escorting someone to the grave), green hats especially to men (means infidelity), pears (sounds like separation), shoes (sounds like a sigh) and handkerchiefs (used in funerals). 

 Do Not Cut Your Hair
Nothing should be cut during Chinese New Year. Whatever you do - wait til after the new year for that trim! 

Do Not Wash Your Hair
Don't wash your hair as the Chinese word for hair is a homophone for "wealth". 
Therefore, the Chinese believe that it will wash away the good luck for the upcoming year. 

Do Not Wear Black Or White 
It's reserved for funerals. Red is the lucky color. New clothes signify a new start; new change...whip out that new blazer! 

Buy A New Pair Of Pants
The word "trousers" is a homonym for wealth. 

Eat Your Sweets! 
Stock up on candies so you can have a SWEET year. 

Oranges and Tangerines
Oranges and tangerines are popular during CNY. They symbolize good luck and prosperity. 

Eat "Nian Gao" (Year Cake) 
It symbolizes that one should "grow higher in each coming year". 

Eat Noodles
Eat LOTS of noodles and make sure they are not cut. Slurp up all the stringy goodness! 

 Do Not Eat Congee
One should not eat congee as the first meal. 
It's considered that only poor people have it for breakfast which means you will be poor throughout the year.

 Vegetarian Food
The first meal on CNY is vegetarian food. Consuming meat is considered bad luck. 

 Don't Argue. Don't Shout.
Like Thanksgiving dinner, everyone sits together for dinner on New Year's Eve.  
During this time, it's imperative that everyone should not argue or shout at each other. 

 Eat Fish
Eat plenty of fish and abalone because they contain the words "yu" which means abundance. 

 Don't Break Glassware
One should not break any glassware during CNY as it signifies potential arguments within the home. 

Don't Break Chopsticks
Breaking chopsticks is considered bad luck because it signifies the breaking of relationships. 

Full Rice Container
...and last but not least, it is bad luck to have a empty rice container.  
Make sure you fill it up before the celebration.

Of all these superstitions, there is one that bugs me up to today. It is that a married daughter is forbidden to visit the house of her parents. This is believed that it will cause economic hardship for the family. I think this is ridiculous but I still obey it. Gosh, if only my mom wasn't so superstitious - life would be so much easier! Anyway, hope you guys enjoy reading this! If you see Chinese people during this joyous holiday, make sure you wish them "Gung Hay Fat Choy" which translates to "Have a Prosperous New Year". Thanks for reading!

 Gung Hay Fat Choy = Have A Prosperous New Year
Year Of The Horse 2014

written by: Jo of White Roses and Coffee // pictures added by: Kim of A Very Sweet Blog
picture credit: instagram (names on picture)
Thank You Jo for writing such an informative post! You did an awesome job and I thank you! 
Several years ago, I incorporated Chinese New Year traditions into my life. They really helped me. 
They're excellent practices, that can benefit anyone. 
It's CNY Week on A Very Sweet Blog! 
Stay tuned to LEARN more...
SHARE:

81 comments

  1. Oooh, this is such a cool list of New Year traditions! I definitely love the eat sweets one ;)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice post, tahnk you, I read all of it :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post ....very interesting to learn new facts about different cultures and traditions:)
    ~Anne

    ReplyDelete
  4. lol. You know us Chinese people - we're full of rules :O) Fantastic (guest) post! I enjoy White Roses and Coffee too. Her blog is full of wonderful fashion inspo.

    ReplyDelete
  5. great post and photos!
    have a wonderful week!

    <3
    http://www.getcarriedaway.net/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing! Such a great read. I will probably have to write every rule down and tick them off one by one as the day goes by. :)
    x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such an interesting post. I learnt so much;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are awesome, love learning these things!! So cool. I would need these written down for sure, because I would forget some of them. But, very interesting to read :)) Happy Monday doll xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is so interesting! It's so nice to know about other cultures! (although China is basically our neighboring country)

    Relationships.College.Love

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Kim! Wow, Im really impressed by what Jo wrote, she did an amazing job, congrats to her! I actually havent any ideas about these traditions and would love to apply too and also to celebrate the CNY on 31th. Im staying tuned to read more about it this week. Happy Monday dear! xo

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, there were some traditions here I did not know about, like the using a knife one!

    Although last CNY I was just out of hospital so my family no doubt gave me a pass on requesting a knife with dinner - I'll make sure not to do that this time!

    This is a good reminder that I need to find something red to wear for our CNY feast!

    Away From Blue

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's such an interesting post. Love learning other people's traditions. Thanks for sharing and happy Monday ladies,
    Axx

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's an interesting post, I like learn something about other traditions!
    Happy new year!!!
    xxx Alita
    www.paintyourdays.eu

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ohhh I've never heard of nearly any of these things! We don't have many Chinese where I live (more Korean centric) so I've never gotten to see Chinese New Year traditions. It was really interesting learning all these...I'd love to try it out lol but I think I would probably say those numbers or cut something right away >...> thanks for this post :D I hope you post pictures of your New Years celebration!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Holly Molly,I hail those who follow these ideas,gosh they just too much,traditions and their beliefs. Africans do have theirs too, it's just too weird to involve onself. I try to abstain from people who believe in them, they can be really catchy and becomes addiction.
    I realy enjoyed this post,they got me cracking so bad. loll but mind you i respet peoples beliefs but i don't like involving in such,my brain can't occupy such things lol..
    Happy Monday babes.
    http://rock4less.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a great post! I love reading about other country's traditions!

    Have a great week!

    www.sohostyles.blogspot.nl

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy Chinese New Year, Kim and Jo:) My husband's Chinese, so this is a big deal for our family. Thanks for sharing all these traditions. I didn't even know some of them!!!!
    Happy Monday, ladies.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great post dear! I love to learn something new!

    Kisses!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blog-Lorena-Marchis/505869062763080?ref=hl

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you Jo for sharing your traditions! The one about the nap would be hard for me, because I love napping during holidays. I love the one about candies and I bet Kim does too.
    Love,
    Coco
    Coco et La vie en rose
    Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
    Coco et La vie en rose on Facebook
    International giveaway - Trendy staple for Spring2014

    ReplyDelete
  20. Amazing post!!!
    I am fascinated by Chinese New Year and one of my dreams is to visit it!! Thanks a lot for the tips, so nice illustrated and easy to read. A lo of them are very espiritual and useful, for example, no cry!!! :)
    Fantastic ;) Thanks

    http://alissagromova.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  21. This was so interesting to learn about! We eat sweet foods for the Jewish New Year too...neat to see a similarity!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Headband Giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  22. such an interesting thing...never knew all this about chinese new year...thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Jo! Interesing Post ,love it :)
    Great Work!!!

    kisses

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great guest post, this was very insightful into CNY traditions, I am always interesting in learning more about other cultures. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on my last post, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gung Hay Fat Choy, Jo and Kim!

    This was a great post, I'm amazed by all the traditions related to CNY - I think I would need to keep a list in my pocket to remember them all haha
    Someof them are really nice and I think that from now on I'll try to do some spring clean just in time for the CNY. And I won't cry or cut my hair before the new year :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. So fun to read this! I love all the mindfulness and intention setting that comes with these little rituals! I'm thinking next year I need to get a red dress to celebrate CNY!
    xo Mary Jo

    ReplyDelete
  27. AWESOMEsauce. I've learned most of these in my researching on how to celebrate the new year but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the list and may share it on my blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great post, I love to get to know something about different traditions and I have no idea about these New Year's traditions, thanks for sharing :)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Such an interesting read! I love reading about traditions and cultures. My mom used to tell me that broken mirrors bring bad luck so when I saw that line in this post, it made me think of her. Thanks to Jo and Kim for sharing this fun and interesting post. Loved reading it! Hope you two have an amazing year ahead! :)

    xx
    Heel in Mint

    ReplyDelete
  30. Fun read, Kim. My grandparents were Chinese but I dont follow the tradition as well as them. There are certain things here I have no clue about. I remember waking up to the loud and obnoxious sound of firecrackers in my neighborhood every morning on CNY when living back home. My highlight of the day was of course the red envelop.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great post Jo, I found it really interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great post and also reminders for us who believes. I was watching an Asian show last week and it is the same with this post as to the do's and don'ts.Thanks for sharing.

    xo
    Sam
    http://fabulouspetite.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love that you picked to wear red this year! That's fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Such an interesting and informative post! I kind of want to practice some of these, but I think I would have an anxiety attack trying to remember it all, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for sharing, such lovely traditions!

    always, koru kate

    ReplyDelete
  36. Very interesting post! I haven't heard all this information before.
    Thanks for sharing Jo!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Those traditions are nice and sweet :)
    I didn't know that Chinese weren't allowed to wash their hair on NYE :)
    I want to wish all Chinese a happy new year :)

    hugs
    Svetlana from Lavender Star

    ReplyDelete
  38. I was curious for this post from Instagram :) I had no idea all of this existed! Thank you for sharing all these (I was really surprised by the 'no crying rule' ) and who knows maybe next year I'll try to participate haha :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  39. Nice to read this tradition, happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Awesome traditions, I love learning about them from your post! <3

    Diana
    www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com
    New Blog Post: 5 Tips To Have Radiant Skin During The Winter

    ReplyDelete
  41. Just finished reading "The Devil of Nanking" and the book spoke a lot about superstitions. Half the book took place during WWII and the main the husband would get frustrated with the wife b/c she was still so superstitious. Great book.

    Allie of
    allienyc.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. This was so lovely to read! I love reading about other cultures and some of my friends celebrate this wonderful occasion and I'll wish the Gung Huy Fat Choy!

    I hope you have a fabulous time, full of success and happiness!
    xoxo,

    BerryBloomXO.blogspot.co.uk 

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh my gosh, I had no idea there were SO many traditions for the Chinese New Year! My boyfriend is Chinese and will be celebrating with his family on Thursday night. So interesting to read this! Thanks for sharing :)

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

    ReplyDelete
  44. post absolutely beautiful
    I posted a new article, I'd love to know your opinion
    would you like to pass from my blog?
    tr3ndygirl.com
    kiss

    ReplyDelete
  45. Happy to know these chinese tradition before New Year comes!
    Thanks a lot

    Ciao

    ReplyDelete
  46. Very informative!! Thanks for posting this, we've learn so much. Thanks also for visiting my blog! Happy Chinese New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. What a great post to start off the New year! I'll definitely wear red this week!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

    ReplyDelete
  48. I love this post! Thanks for all the advice!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I loved hearing about the Chinese New Year traditions!
    These pics are awesome, too! :) T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. This is an awesome post! Great job Jo! CNY is big deal for my family so we observe alot of these traditions. Just wanted to add 2 more. While it's unlucky to cut your hair during the new year, alot of people including myself get their hair cut weeks before to shed bad energy. It's also lucky to wear new underwear on CNY especially red ones :)

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    ReplyDelete
  51. Got to remember all of these. It is so nice to learn about these CNY traditions.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I used to get a bonus Money when the Chinese's New Yew tradition very year when I worked with my favorite import export company. Thanks for sharing this, I almost forget about it:)..
    oxox

    http://www.attraction2fashion.com

    ReplyDelete
  53. Can't wait for CNY :D


    WWW.PUTRIVALENTINALIM.BLOGSPOT.COM

    ReplyDelete
  54. What a fascinating post! I live in a city with a large Chinese population and there are huge celebrations for CNY every year, but after reading this I understand everything that happens much more - thanks for sharing, Jo and Kim :)
    xox,
    Cee

    ReplyDelete
  55. Wow! This is a long list of superstitions. I would have to write down and keep with me at all times to get it right. :-) Great post!

    Mo

    ReplyDelete
  56. I love the idea of stocking up on candies and sweets!

    Thanks for sharing a little history on your culture and the holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  57. i'm half chinese and did not know half of this stuff! pretty cool. thanks so much for all the info. even though i'm not superstitious, the chinese in me always makes me feel like i have to follow all these rules. haha.

    http://spinning-threads.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. This post is so interesting and amazing.
    I love these tradiction, so cool
    Would you like to follow each other on BLOGLOVIN ? Baci The Indian Savage Diary

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm not very knowledgeable about Chinese superstitions so this is all so very interesting to me.. cool post!
    www.lettersimpromptu.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. interesting!! i have definitely heard of some of these, while others were surprising. thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  61. This post is great, I love discover different traditions,your culture is amazing!!

    Viky --- MySecretFashionPoison

    ReplyDelete
  62. Oh my gosh this is awesome!!! I will definitely have to work on no debt for the new year!
    MY sister and I have a tradition that for new year's we wear an all new outfit!From head to toe, including underwear. We think it will bring us new experiences!
    Kat | www.poshbykat.com

    ReplyDelete
  63. Wowww, These are amazing, love learning these things!! You know I always fascinate about Chinese New Year, I knew amny new facts about it. very interesting to read, love this post Kim:)) Happy Tuesday honey <3

    ReplyDelete
  64. What an informative post! I love to read about traditions in other cultures and this was absolutely fascinating. I knew about a couple of these already. The red envelopes were featured on a TV advert over here. Interesting to read about the background to the traditions too.
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  65. I never realized there were so many traditions - thank you for sharing! Hope you have a happy and prosperous new year!
    Chic on the Cheap

    ReplyDelete
  66. This was such an interesting read! Thanks for sharing it :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. Jo really did an awesome CNY and Chinese superstition post! Was it her or you who put the pictures together? This post is definitely more well-put together than many other posts on Chinese superstition. It's in bite-sized nuggets of information and so easy to read. This post should get onto Google page 1 or something when people search for cny superstition.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Oh i totally recall reading the post about pregnancy.
    This is really interesting, because one gets to know the reason behind the action or tradition.
    I always thought that wearing the yellow under wear came from the chinese traditions, i guess i am gonna have to keep looking.

    ReplyDelete
  69. These are some lovely traditions! So generous and nice :)
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thank you for posting this, it's so interesting to learn about other cultures and their traditions. :)

    ReplyDelete
  71. Interesting, put into practice some of these tips!

    www.urbanikamoda.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Kim, I had so much fun writing up this post and your pictures matched it perfectly! Thanks for everything. Wishing you all the success you deserve!

    xo Jo

    http://www.whiterosesandcoffee.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. i had no idea of all of these superstitions/traditions! i loved learning more.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Great post! Very informative!

    http://initialed.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  75. hahah this is such a hilarious list that only my mother would remember and impose on us. love them asian supersititions.
    Jenn
    A Beautiful Zen

    ReplyDelete
  76. Oops and oh no, I'm allergic to seafood :S. A very interesting informative post indeed though, never heard some of them! I should definitely definitely keep these in mind! :) Awesome post! --Thank you, to both of you!! :D

    xo,
    Emm

    ReplyDelete
  77. It was a good read dear :)Some of them are similar to wat we folow here in India.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Thk for ur article. I would to check with u the new long pant bought during this festival should be wore within the 15 day of this year festive or kept n wear it on the first day of 2015 Chinese new year. Thk!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Thk for ur article. I would to check with u the new long pant bought during this festival should be wore within the 15 day of this year festive or kept n wear it on the first day of 2015 Chinese new year. Thk!

    ReplyDelete
Blogger Template Created by pipdig