10 Things to Avoid During Chinese New Year

February 02, 2024 10:00

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a time of joy, tradition, and family. As this auspicious celebration approaches, it's crucial to be mindful of cultural sensitivities to ensure a respectful and positive experience for everyone involved. In this article, we'll explore ten things you should avoid doing during Chinese New Year to navigate the festivities with cultural awareness and respect.

Ignoring Traditional Greetings:
Avoid neglecting traditional greetings such as "Gong Xi Fa Cai" (Wishing you prosperity) and "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year). Engage in these greetings to show respect for the customs and convey your best wishes.

Wearing Inappropriate Colours:
Be cautious with your choice of colours. Red and gold are considered lucky during Chinese New Year, while white and black symbolise mourning. Avoid wearing these latter colours during the festivities.

Discussing Unlucky Topics:
Steer clear of discussions related to illness, death, or other unfortunate events. Chinese New Year is a time to focus on positive energy, so avoid bringing up topics that may be considered inauspicious.

Giving Clocks as Gifts:
In Chinese culture, giving clocks is associated with the end of a relationship or life, as the phrase "giving a clock" sounds similar to "attending a funeral." To avoid any unintentional negative connotations, opt for more auspicious gifts.

Sweeping or Cleaning on New Year's Day:
Traditionally, cleaning or sweeping on New Year's Day is believed to sweep away good luck. Ensure that major cleaning activities are completed before the start of the celebrations to avoid inadvertently clearing away positive energies.

Using Sharp Objects:
Avoid using sharp objects or utensils during the celebration, as they are believed to cut ties and relationships. It's advisable to handle cutting activities before the start of Chinese New Year.

Arguing or Debating:
Chinese New Year emphasises harmony and positive interactions. Avoid engaging in arguments or debates during the festive period to maintain a peaceful and joyful atmosphere.

Giving Empty Red Packets:
Red packets, or "hongbao," are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. When giving these envelopes, ensure they contain an appropriate amount of money. Giving an empty red packet is considered inauspicious.

Refusing Food or Hospitality:
If you are invited to someone's home for a meal or celebration, it is considered impolite to refuse. Embrace the spirit of hospitality and share in the joy of the occasion by accepting invitations graciously.

Forgetting the Significance of Family:
Chinese New Year is a time for family reunions and strengthening familial bonds. Avoid neglecting your loved ones during this festive season and prioritise spending time together to celebrate the importance of family.

Ensure a Respectful and Positive Experience
By being mindful of these cultural nuances and avoiding certain actions during Chinese New Year, you can ensure a respectful and positive experience for yourself and those around you. Embracing the traditions and customs of this joyous celebration contributes to a harmonious and prosperous start to the new lunar year. Wishing you a Gong Xi Fa Cai and Xin Nian Kuai Le!

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