The Chinese New Year is the most important festival amongst Chinese people around the globe. It is a celebration of the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. A 16-day affair, the Chinese New Year's festivities start from new year's eve to its 15th day, known as the Lantern Festival.
Chinese believe that certain festivities and things to do before and during the new year will help bring good fortune into their lives. In this piece, Yahoo Life SEA will be looking into seven things you can do during the Chinese New Year period, which is believed to help bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.
1. Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is believed to help chase away the negative energies in your environment and allow positive energies to gather for the new year. There are specific dates said to be better for decluttering your house and cleansing away the bad luck in your surroundings, accumulated over the past year.
However, refrain from cleaning your house on new year's day itself as it could be seen as sweeping away your good fortune.
2. Decorating your house
After decluttering, it is time to liven your living space with vibrant colours and decorations. This is believed to help maintain positive energy in your living space. Traditionally, red and gold colours are favoured for decorations, along with auspicious couplets, Chinese knots, and plants.
Fruits such as oranges and pomelos are also seen as symbols of prosperity and can be used as decorations around the house, especially in the living room and kitchen. It is also believed that garlic, which sounded like "counting" in Mandarin, in red nettings, will bring in wealth luck as you count money into the new year.
3. Auspicious plants shopping
Some plants that the Chinese believe will aid in ushering wealth luck into their lives and are symbols of abundance. The plants are usually placed around the house and in offices as they are small enough to fit onto tabletops.
The Lucky Bamboo, which can be grown in water, is believed to bring in good luck for the new year and is a popular plant to keep as they are easy to care for. Another lucky plant would be the Money Tree, which is believed to bring financial success for the new year. Remember to take good care of these prosperity plants as withering plants during the year are believed to be inauspicious.
4. Repaying debts
Repaying debts before Chinese New Year allows you to be debt-free and boosts your wealth luck in the upcoming year. This tradition also symbolises a new start financially, especially if the previous year had been a difficult period for you.
5. Staying up on Chinese New Year's Eve
Children and the younger generation are encouraged to stay up on the eve of Chinese New Year as it brings longevity to their parents.
6. Wearing new clothes
Wearing new clothes on Chinese New Year, especially the first day, symbolises one's thriving wealth status as they can afford new outfits for the new year. It is also seen as refreshing your image and is believed to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
Red and other bright colours are preferred over black and dark colours for Chinese New Year #ootds. On the first day of the Chinese New Year, wearing red is also believed to help the wearer chase away bad luck and evil spirits.
7. Eating Nian Gao
Known as a sweet sticky dessert made from glutinous rice flour, Nian Gao is traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year.
Nian Gao, which sounds like "year high" in Mandarin, symbolises reaching new peaks in the new year. It is also said to bring in promotions and prosperity if eaten during the Chinese New Year period.