FFE Magazine

How to invite Luck this Chinese New Year

Millions of people will be celebrating Chinese New Year this 10February 2013. As it enters, many people are already preparing so they may bring lady luck on their side. If you want a great 2013 as well, here are some Chinese customs and traditions to bring you good fortune.

For those that do not celebrate Chinese New Year but are curious and interested in this occasion, follow our guidelines below to get you started.

> The Chinese usually wear red clothing during special occasions like birthdays and New Year. This is because red symbolizes good fortune. Red is also believed to scare away evil spirits. Black and white pieces are avoided as they are traditional funeral colours and represent bad luck.

 > Wearing new clothes and shoes symbolize a new beginning for the year.

> To clean the house meansgetting rid of all the bad luck that has accumulated in the last year. You are also not allowed to sweep a day after New Years or else all your new luck will be swept away.

 > Washing you hair on or before New Year is avoided because it will wash away all good luck.

> Haircuts are done before New Year because if done after (anytime during the first month) a curse will be placed on all your maternal uncles.

> Lighting firecrackers mean saying hello to the New Year and bidding farewell to the old.

> To put money in your pocket during the eve welcomes wealth and prosperity in the New Year.

> Parents give children Ampau or Hongbao (red envelopes or packets) filled with money as a gift during New Year. It also encourages children to start saving money for the coming year. Even-numbered amounts of money are usually given during celebrations like birthdays and New Years, since odd-numbered amounts are for funerals.  Know that even-numbered amounts refer to the first digit of the number. For example, “70” will be considered an odd amount because 7 is an odd number. The Chinese never give an amount with the number “4” because it is bad luck. The Chinese word for “4” sounds like the Chinese word for death.

> The banquet menu is as crucial as the other customs in celebrating the New Year. Certain foods are believed to bring good tidings. Some of them include:

- Noodles. Noodles are a symbol of longevity or long life. 

- Whole Fish. Serving an entire fish on a plate symbolizes prosperity. This is because the Chinese word for fish (Yu) is a homophone of the Chinese word for riches or abundance. Eating fish will also help your wishes come true in the New Year.

- Chicken. Serving a whole chicken with its head and feet in tact symbolizes good fortune, marriage, and family unity.

- Sticky pastries. Sweet and sticky pastries are popular during New Years, and not only because they are delicious desserts! Sweet pastries symbolize a richer and sweeter life, while sticky pastries ensure that families will be closer and more united in the New Year.



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