I’m rather a superstitious person. It goes hand in hand with believing in magical things. So when Chinese New Year comes around or Spring Festival as it is called in China, I follow some of the superstitions but not all. I tend to follow the ones that gel with me and are easy to follow. I am also a practical person.
So here I thought I’d share with you the customs I adhere to.
Clean, sweep or dust on Chinese New Year’s day otherwise you will sweep away all your good luck. You’re meant to do a big spring clean but I’m too lazy for that and just do the basics – wiping the kitchen bench and stove, mopping the floor and washing the dishes.
Don’t lend money on New Year’s Day otherwise you’ll be lending money for the rest of the year.
Don’t swear or say negative things or mention death or ghosts. Everything you say should be directed towards a new beginning.
Don’t wash your hair on New Year’s Day or else you will wash away your luck.
Don’t cry on New Year’s Day otherwise you will cry for the whole year. For this reason children are tolerated even when they’re naughty. Sorry mums and dads of young children.
Wear something new, preferably red. Red is a bright happy colour so it welcomes a bright, happy year ahead. I usually wear something that has red in the pattern.
Give children and unmarried friends ‘hong bao’ a little red packet of money. It should be a nice crisp bill. My children love this time of year.
Say something nice to the first person you meet. I like this custom. It should be a rule for everyday. Maybe it would set the mind in a good mood which will bring about a positive day.
It is lucky to hear a songbird on Chinese New Year’s Day.
And lastly, if it’s your year, you should wear red everyday until the year ends. When it was my year I wore a red silk thread around my wrist.
The horse in the picture above is ink on Chinese watercolour paper. The character on the right is the word for ‘ma’ meaning horse. The red chop is one of my Chinese names ‘shuang’ which means frost. My full Chinese name is Wang Xing shuang which means ‘happy frost’.
Those born in the Year of the Horse are cheerful, popular, quick-witted, enthusiastic, enterprising, ambitious, gregarious, generous and charitable. Horses love travel, change, diversity and playing sport and are usually fearless and energetic. They have keen minds and can manage money extremely well.
Horses are born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2014
Happy Year of the Horse to you all. I hope it brings good health and new happenings.
And a little bit of magic!