Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chinese New Year Superstitions

If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the About.Com page on "Hong Kong for Visitors." On that page is the top ten superstitions related to the Chinese New Year. I've posted them below. If you visit that page, you find much, much more.

1) Polite Conversation
During the holiday period, don’t talk about dying, and don’t tell ghost stories. Both subjects are considered inauspicious.

2) A Clean Getaway
If your partner asks you why the house is so dirty, you'll have the perfect excuse: it's bad luck to sweep dust and dirt out of your house during the holiday because it signifies sweeping all your family’s good fortune away. {Just don't mention to your partner the other bit - about sweeping the dust into the house, picking it up and then putting it out the back door for good luck).

3) No More Excuses
If number 2 sounded too good to be true - it is. The entire house should be cleaned and all cleaning equipment put away on New Year’s Eve.

4) Literature off the Books
Out of reading material? Well, you'll just have to tough it out. Buying books during the holiday brings bad luck, as the word in Cantonese is a homonym for 'lose'.

5) No New Shoes
Buying shoes is also not a good idea. The Cantonese word is a homonym for 'rough', and no one wants to have a rough year.

6) Pay Up
If you're in debt, it's time to stump up the cash, or you'll be in debt all year. Friends need cash? Don't give them a penny, because the reverse is also true - lend now and you'll be lending all year.

7) Cut it Out
Put away your knives and scissors, they are said to cut out good luck.

8) Paint the Town Red
Colorful clothing is said to bring good luck and deliver a prosperous year. The colour of choice is red.

9) Bags of Sweets
Candy is eaten by many, as it is said to bring the eater a sweet year.

10) A Breath of Fresh Air
It might still be a little chilly outside, but open your windows nevertheless - it helps the New Year to come in.

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