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Start Chinese New Year Right: What NOT to Do

2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey. (Image: NatashaG via Pixabay/CC0 1.0)
2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey. (Image: NatashaG via Pixabay/CC0 1.0)

For thousands of years Chinese New Year has been celebrated, marking a fresh new start. There are many traditions followed throughout the year to ensure good luck, good health, prosperity, harmony and balance in your life.

Here are some things NOT to do to ensure a good year of the Fire Monkey.

Don’t start the year with debts

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Pay off all your debts before the New Year. If the debtor is not able to pay the money back, creditors should not ask them to do so during the first five days of the New Year. (Image: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay/CCO)

Day 1

(Image: PROChicago Art Department Follow via flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Don’t sweep the floor. Sweeping the floor means you’re sweeping your good luck away. (Image: PROChicago Art Department Follow via flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Don’t take medicine, you’ll avoid sickness for the whole year (consult your doctor first). (Image: stevepb via Pixabay/CCO)

Don't use unlucky words or phrases such as death, sickness, or loss during the first four days. If children accidently use them, adults should say 童言 無忌 (tóng yán wú jì) right away, which means: “Please pardon the child for his reckless words.” (Image: Al Hussainy Mohameda> via flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Don’t use unlucky words or phrases such as death, sickness, or loss during the first four days. If children accidently use them, adults should say 童言 無忌 (tóng yán wú jì) right away, which means: “Please pardon the child for his reckless words.” (Image: Al Hussainy Mohameda> via flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Don’t take out the trash

Garbage should not be taken out during the first four days of the New Year, as it symbolizes cleaning out all of the good luck for the coming year.

Don’t break anything

Breaking something brings bad luck. If you accidentally break something on days 1-4, say 歲歲平安 (suì suì píng ān), which means: “May everyone be blessed all year round.” The pronunciation of 歲 (suì) is the same for both “break” and “year,” and 平安 (píng ān) means “peaceful” or “blessed.” So you turn bad luck into good luck.

Don’t bring an odd number of presents

(Image: george ruiz via flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

When married daughters visit their parents on Day 2, they should bring an even number of presents. An odd number is considered bad luck. (Image: george ruiz via flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

Day 2: Don’t cry on New Year

If you cry on New Year’s day you could bring yourself misfortune in the coming days.

Day 4: Stay home

The Kitchen God is coming back to Earth today, and will do a roll call, so make sure you are at home.

Don’t borrow or lend money during New Year, as it means you will suffer financial loss.

Day 9: Don’t hang out the laundry

Today is the birthday of the Jade Emperor. In order to show respect for him, hanging out the laundry is not allowed. (Image: (WT-shared) Naplee12 at wts wikivoyage via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Don’t cut your hair

It’s considered a bad omen to have a hair cut during the New Year period. Also, wearing all black or white should be avoided since they are colors used at a funeral, and symbolizes bad luck.

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