The Chinese Lunar New Year is just around the corner and Chinese everywhere will be ringing in the year of the dragon with a number of traditional practices. The dragon is a special zodiac sign and this year brings with it extra luck and power for China. Ring in the new year the proper way following these eight timeless traditions (8 is a lucky number btw).
Here’s your excuse to go out buy that new outfit you’ve had you’re eyes on. Preferably purchase a clothes item with red in it and welcome the New Year in style.
Don’t stop with just a new outfit. You need to update your entire look. This includes getting a trim. But be sure not to cut your hair for a month after as this signifies cutting away your prosperity.
It’s customary for married couples and bosses to buy fresh banknotes, stuff them into red “lai see” packets and hand them out to children. These little packets of monetary joy are called red pancakes (red is a good color during the holiday). Be sure not to stuff your packet with any amount with 4 in it as this number is extremely lucky in Chinese culture.
Be sure to buy some firecrackers. The louder the better as they scare away the bad spirits wanting to make your life miserable in the coming year.
Forget spring cleaning. Get on it now:
Out with the old (donate these items to charity) and in with the new. Be sure to also sweep the dust and dirt out the door before New Year’s Day. This symbolizes sweeping out bad luck. However on New Year’s day put your broom outside and out of sight. You don’t want to accidentally sweep out all that good luck do you?
Decorate the home
Be sure to bring in red and gold colors into your home. A bowl of oranges or mandarins is a traditional item. Also, double check that your furniture’s feng shui is in proper position as this diverts money through your door and into your pockets.
New Year’s with the family:
The first 2 days of New Year are supposed to be spent with family and friends while the third day is meant to be spent in your home relaxing and reflecting.
Eat lucky food:
Chinese typically cook huge feasts during the New Year. They gorge themselves on “lucky” foods like fish, chicken, roast pork, moss, rice cakes, and dumplings. These food items are supposed to make you feel wealthy as you stuff yourself.