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How to Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Posted on by Reverend Michael


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Chinese New Year has somewhat mystical origins; it is based on the ancient lunar-solar calendar and is a time to honor heavenly deities and ancestors. Along with the general day off of work and traditions of feasting with family, the Chinese also apply many superstitions and taboos in their traditional celebrations of Chinese New Year. The celebration lasts fifteen days with each day having an association to particular customs.

Tip: Never say never.

Many traditions are related to good fortune in the coming year, and it is bad luck to carry forth with many different actions on New Year’s Day. It is said that none should speak the number four or ‘Ssu’ which sounds like the word for death, and similarly it is equally unlucky to utter any other negative words. All debts must be paid before this day or it is said you will be paying others all year. Similarly none should cry on New Year’s Day or they shall cry all year long. The day is meant to be a time of manifesting positivity for the coming year, and thus all talk of death or ghosts is extremely taboo on the day of the New Year.

Tip: Wear red to set the tone.

Everyone at a New Year celebration will be wearing red because it is a happy and bright color. Chinese prophecy rumors that the vibrant color will give the wearer a future that is as vibrant as their garb. The root chakra is represented by the color red, and pertains to feelings of security and stability in life and finances. Chinese New Year is all about projecting your ideal future in order to manifest good fortune in the coming year. Wearing red is meant to promote these feelings of good fortune, and its background is supported in multiple interpretations of color outside of Chinese superstition.

 

Tip: Watch which utensils you use.

Families are urged to finish cleaning their house before New Year’s Day and then put away all dust pans, mops and brooms. If they clean on the date of the New Year it is believed they will sweep away their year’s good fortune. When you are cleaning do not sweep out the front door, sweep inwards to a dust pan and carry the filth out of the back door in order to maintain your fortune for the year. Also be sure to put away all sharp objects including knives and scissors so as not to ‘cut off your luck’ for the year. No objects should be cut and you should never cut your hair on the New Year.

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