Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chinese New Year taboo

This year, the Chinese will be celebrating new Lunar Year on 7 February 2008. Some of the traditions and customs during Chinese New Year celebration are no longer practiced by most Chinese. However it is still interesting to know those do’s and don’ts which have been passed down for so many generations.

House cleaning
The house would be cleaned before Chinese New Year’s day. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pans and other cleaning equipment are to be kept away. Sweeping and dusting should not be done on Chinese New Year for fear of good fortune been swept away.
(Rose says: er, when can we do cleaning then? Don’t tell me we can only do so after 15th day? I remember my dad and mum started to vacuum the dirt off the floor after guests have left even on the first day. They cant stand the sight of dirt on the floor! I think my parents have been having good fortune so far doing that. They kept winning lots of lottery numbers for all I know)

Fire crackers
Lighting up firecrackers on Chinese New Year Eve is a way to send out the old year and welcome the New Year. On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, every door in the house and even windows have to be open to allow the old year to go away.
House is decorated with colourful stickers, cherry blossoms and bright red lanterns and firecrackers.
(Rose says: Unfortunately firecrackers are banned in Malaysia. However some people still manage to smuggle those illegal firecrackers into the country. Only some of those safer fireworks are allowed to be sold here. I still remember when I was small, those people played firecrackers during midnight until the road in front of me went blur and cars had to move one inch at a time to pass through due to invisibility. Those were the days)

Chinese New Year Activities
All debts must be paid on time. Nothing should be lent on this day, as anyone who does will be said to be lending throughout the year.

Everyone must refrain from using foul languages and unlucky words such as “se” (meaning “death”).

Children must not be spanked and scolded on this day no matter how mischievous they are. . Married couples are to give red packets to children and unmarried relatives for good fortune.
Visiting relatives and friends is a custom, where you greet your hosts “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (Happy Chinese New Year) wishing them luck, prosperity and good health for the year.
(Rose says: Yes, that what we do on CNY. Gosh, how much do I need to stand by for red packets give away this year?)

Personal appearance and cleanliness
We are not supposed to wash our hair because it means we would washed away good luck. Red clothing is preferred during this festive occasion. Red is considered lucky colour, bringing luck to the wearer.
(Rose: We don’t really practice those stuff, as I don’t think anyone can stand not to wash hair even on first day. As long I don’t wear anything and everything black on first day, any colour of clothing would do.)


bigfish_chin said...

Hi Rose,
Thanks for dropping by my blog!
i agreed with u man! We wear new clothes but not really have to b RED RED all the time. As long as don wear blackies will do.
I'm back to KK, Sabah this year for CNY too. Think the festive feel there will b stronger than K.L here!

Rose said...

Hi Bigfish Chin, well at least you are back to your hometown for the celebration. Of course with your family and relatives there, it will sure different than in KL.

This year, I would be in Kuching, so i got to visit my relatives and friends which I missed visiting for 3 years since going back to Kapit with my hubby. :)