10 Tips for the Year of the Rooster

I painted a fire rooster with two little dogs in attendance. They can’t wait for 2018 when it will be their turn. I do love painting dogs.

This year Chinese New Year falls on January 28th

Rooster characteristics

Those born under the sign of the Rooster are easygoing and never shy. They like reading and travelling so they are very knowledgeable. They also have good memories and are brave, resilient, independent and lucky.

Rooster years

Rooster Years are: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017.


I have to admit that I am very superstitious.

It goes hand in hand with believing in hidden dimensions and magic which is why I write the kind of books I do.

But when it comes to Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival or chun jie as it is called in China, I am pretty practical about it and only go with the traditions that are easy for me to follow.

1 Wear something red

If it’s your year wear red everyday until the year ends. This is not as hard as it sounds. I’m an Ox and when it was my year I wore a red silk thread around my wrist. Some people sew a red thread in their underwear.

2 Clean the house

Clean your house before Chinese New Year to sweep away all the negative energy. Don’t sweep on CNY day or you will sweep away all your good luck for the incoming year.

3 Pay back your debts

I like this one but of course it’s impossible to stick to in our society with mortgages and credit cards and the like. I do make sure I pay off my credit cards and any amount that I’ve borrowed from friends. It’s also wise not to lend money on New Year’s day or you’ll be lending money for the rest of the year.

4 A new and happy beginning

Don’t swear or say negative things or mention death or ghosts on CNY day. Everything you say should be directed towards a new and happy beginning.

5 Hair cut, wash and blow wave

Have a hair cut and wash your hair before CNY day or you will wash away your luck.

6 What to wear

Wear something new, preferably red. Red is a bright happy colour so it welcomes in a bright, happy and prosperous year. It is also a lucky colour which is why, traditionally, Chinese brides wore red. I usually wear something that has red in the pattern.

7 Give Red Envelopes (hong bao)

Give children and unmarried friends little red packets of lucky money. My children love this time of year as they receive quite a bit of cash.

8 Say nice things

Say something nice to the first person you meet. I like this custom. It should be a rule for everyday of the year.

9 Hearing birdsong

It is lucky to hear birdsong on CNY. Living in Australia, where we have so many birds, this is an easy one.

10 What to eat

Chinese like to make dumplings or jiao zi on New Year’s eve because they are in the shape of an ingot which used to be the ancient Chinese currency. A whole fish is also eaten. There is a saying, nian nian you yu which means every year there is fish. But nian nian you yu also sounds like every year there will be leftovers. It’s always good to have a surplus in the coming year. One thing you must not do is turn the fish over.

Xin nian kuai le! xx

2 thoughts on “10 Tips for the Year of the Rooster

  1. I was born in 1957 so loved reading this post. I must try and wear red again because lately it’s different shades of blue/ aqua or turquoise. Thank you for your delightful and beautiful paintings that capture a child like quality. As a rooster i like cleaning the house, being brave and independent and love to read and travel.

    I love your new 2017 website Gabrielle,
    Marg Gibbs ( Queenslander! in the mountains)

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