Hong Kong (CNN) — It’s time to say goodbye to the Rat and hey to the Year of the Ox.
This yr’s Lunar New Year, which marks the start of the 15-day Spring Festival in China, begins on February 12.
It’s usually the most important vacation of the yr in China — and for some the one time they get sufficient go away from their jobs to journey house and see their family members.

Nonetheless, there are nonetheless loads of traditions and superstitions to observe, all aimed toward ensuring the yr forward is fortunate and affluent.

For instance, many individuals already know that pink is related to luck and prosperity, therefore all of the fiery hues you see on Lunar New Year decorations and clothes.

Here are just a few different key dos and don’ts that many observe earlier than and after the Lunar New Year.

DO

Set off fireworks

The extra fireworks or firecrackers you set off the higher.

Not solely do you mild up the night time sky with a symphony of shade, however the loud banging sounds are thought to scare off evil spirits.

In many components of China, you may hear a relentless, nightly barrage of loud bangs throughout the first 15 days of the Lunar New Year celebration, which is named the Spring Festival — despite the fact that it occurs in the midst of winter.

Some persons are so enthused they’re going to even set them off throughout the day.

Eat dumplings

Eating dumplings across the holidays is a well-liked custom in northern China and there are three causes for it.

A) They’re scrumptious.

B) The Chinese phrase for them, “jiao zi,” is just like the traditional phrase for brand new changing the outdated.

C) The form of a Chinese-style dumpling resembles the items of gold that had been used as cash in historic occasions. A plate stuffed with dumplings seems to be like an enormous pile of gold, symbolizing wealth within the coming yr.

Clean your own home

Sweep, mop, scrub, mud, vacuum, steam — do something and the whole lot to verify your own home is spick and span BEFORE the stroke of midnight on Lunar New Year eve, February 11. (See under for extra on this.)

The goal right here is to rid your own home of any unhealthy luck that is gathered over the previous yr.

It’s additionally suggested to settle money owed forward of the New Year, bank card payments included.

The superstition is that for those who begin the yr within the pink, you may seemingly finish it that means too.

DON’T

Wash or lower your hair

Leave your hair as it’s on the primary day of the New Year.

The Chinese character for hair is identical first character within the phrase for prosper.

This means washing or reducing it off is seen as washing your fortune away and dramatically reduces probabilities of prosperity within the yr forward.

Actually, LNY fundamentalists will inform you having a shower can also be off-limits on the primary day for a similar motive.

Dry shampoo and dusting powder will come in useful.

Clean post-New Year

Make positive you clear up and throw out your trash BEFORE midnight.

Otherwise you are going to have to attend until the second day of the brand new lunar yr.

Cleaning of any type on the primary day is strictly forbidden.

Don’t even wash the dishes.

You cleaned your own home to rid it of any unhealthy luck earlier than the New Year — now you wish to make sure to not wipe, sweep or wash away any of the nice luck that arrived on the stroke of midnight.

Buy books

Avid readers will wish to refill on their books and magazines earlier than the Lunar New Year, as a result of it is unhealthy luck to purchase them throughout the 15-day Spring Festival.

The Chinese phrase for “book” (shū) sounds precisely the identical because the phrase for “lose” — so shopping for a guide proper after ringing within the New Year is taken into account an invite for unhealthy luck.

Also, keep away from giving books as items to anybody, as a result of it might be like wishing unhealthy luck upon them.

First printed in 2017, this text has been up to date for 2021.

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