26.1.09

Lucky Chinese New Year

Gong Xi Fat Chai! (Happy [Chinese] New Year!)

The one thing that I have learned about the Chinese this year is how superstitious they are. Things that bring good luck, such as oranges and the color red, are in abundance, while the things that bring bad luck, are of course, not in abundance because everyone avoids them.

I made a major Chinese faux pas on Monday by cleaning my floor. Apparently I just swept out all my good fortune for this year, dang it! And by sweeping the dirt out my door, I just swept one of the family away. Oh man.

If I cried New Years Day, I will cry all year long. Luckily I made it all the way through the day. Good thing it wasn't Sunday. And not even children can cry, according to one source: "children are tolerated and are not spanked, even though they are mischievous."

There can be no reference to the number "4". In Chinese, it sounds like the word "death". Quote from website: "Instead of saying "4" of something, you can say "2 more than 2" of something. Good thing I am no longer 2 more than 22!

Some other taboos:

Getting a hair-cut in the first lunar month puts a curse on maternal uncles.

Saying words like "finished" and "gone" is inauspicious on the New Year, so sometimes people would avoid these words by saying "I have completed eating my meal" rather than say "I have finished my meal."

Buying or reading books is bad luck because the character for "book" is a homonym for the character "lose".

And don't give clocks or green hats as gifts. Clocks symbolize escorting someone to the grave, and green hats symbolize infidelity.

Oh man, so many things to remember. So many mistakes to be made this month!






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