This January 28th will mark the beginning of a new year for Chinese people. The date is selected based on the Lunar Calendar and it changes every year. Each year is also represented by one of the twelve animals on the Chinese horoscope wheel. And this new year will be the year of the rooster. Hopefully it will be a lucky and prosperous one for you. However, to ensure that you are in with the best chance of having a good year, there are several traditions that you’d need to observe according to Chinese superstitions. We’ve combined the main ones in a list to make things easier for you.
Our Chinese superstitions list for rooster year
1. Spring cleaning
Before the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival holiday begins, families in China clean their homes to get rid of any bad fortune from the previous year. Having a clean home also makes way for good luck in the New Year. Make sure you don’t clean on New Year’s Day though; sweeping out dirt at this time signifies brushing away your luck and fortune!
2. No hair washing
Just like sweeping on New Year’s Day, washing your hair is also considered bad luck as it symbolises washing away all the good things that might be coming to you. Make sure your hair is washed before the big day, or maybe try dry shampoo as that doesn’t involve washing anything off.
3. Snap, crackle & pop
Firecrackers and fireworks in general are an integral part of Chinese New Year celebrations all over the world. The colour and noise firecrackers give off is supposed to scare away evil spirits, as they have an aversion to anything red and loud noises. Who knew?
Talking about anything related to death is strictly forbidden, so if you’re planning on sitting around a camp fire at any point over Chinese New Year, make sure you aren’t telling ghost stories.
5. Debt collector
If you don’t pay off your debts before the year of the monkey is through, this is a bad omen for your financial situation in the year to come and could mean that your debts just keep getting bigger. Lending money is also not advisable at this time of year, as it means that you will spend the whole year lending out money.
6. Tick tock
Giving gifts of clocks, watches or other time pieces should be avoided at all costs. They symbolise time running out, as well as relationships coming to an end. So, if you were planning on getting married in the next year, don’t give your boy/girlfriend a watch this year.
7. No worry, no cry
As crying represents being sad, it can be a portent to bad luck therefore, on New Year’s Eve; children are spared from all punishments even if they are misbehaving. You should also make sure you don’t watch any tear-jerking films, just to be on the safe side.
8. To have or not to have babies
This is more for couples who are thinking of having children. Before you decide if the rooster year is a good year to have a child, you must first check if the rooster sign is compatible with your and your husband’s Chinese zodiac signs. For example, rooster and rat are taught to be incompatible signs which means there will be a lot of arguments and frictions. On the other hand, rooster and snake are compatible and get along well due to similarities in characters. Dragon and rooster are another compatible signs.
9. Seeing red
Red in Chinese culture is associated with luck, so is the obvious clothing choice for New Year. If you were born in the year of the rooster, you shouldn’t just stick to wearing red at New Year; make sure you have enough red underwear to last the whole year to ensure you don’t suffer and bad luck.
10. Money, money, money
The giving of Hong Baos (red packets) may be one of the most important and well-known traditions of Chinese New Year. Red envelopes filled with brand new bank notes are given to children and young, unmarried adults as gifts. The amount of money should always be an even number. Much like Christmas in the West, Chinese families often save up all year to be able to give Hong Baos at Spring Festival. Oranges and sweets are also often given along with the Hong Bao.
Get ready to celebrate
You can choose to believe those superstitions or not, but better to be safe than sorry! Once you’ve cleaned the house, donned your red underwear and filled those Hong Bao packets full of money, you’ll be ready to ring in the Chinese New Year in the traditional way. 恭喜发财 (Gōngxǐ fācái) and have a happy and prosperous Spring Festival!