By Isabelle Liew
While you’re hanging up red lanterns and “fu” paper cuttings for luck and prosperity this Lunar New Year, don’t forget to bear in mind the superstitions surrounding the festive season so you don’t end up jinxing yourself. The experts tell Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore what to avoid as the Year of the Pig begins
Put the broom away
There is no better excuse to ditch the spring-cleaning tools than the possibility of sweeping away your luck. Resist the temptation to pick up a broom on the first day of Chinese New Year, and if you really cannot avoid it, Master Lim Eng Cheong, founder of Chang Consultancy, says to sweep into, rather than out of, the house.
No porridge for breakfast
If porridge is a breakfast staple in your home, skip it on the first day of Chinese New Year. In the past, only the poor, who could not afford rice, ate porridge, says Way Fengshui Group’s Chief Geomancer and founder, Grand Master Tan Khoon Yong. “The act of consuming porridge during Chinese New Year is believed to bring poverty to your entire family,” he says. According to Master Lim, if you feel “poor” on the first day of Chinese New Year, it is believed that you will remain poor for the rest of the year.
Skip the hairwash – and the laundry
According to the experts, washing your hair or clothes could “wash away” your prosperity. Master Lim says: “By doing the laundry, it is believed that you may incur the wrath of the Water God and go through bad luck for the rest of the year.”
Put away sharp objects
By using scissors or other cutting tools, you will “cut” away your good luck, says Master Lim. You also risk cutting and injuring yourself, which is not a good omen for the New Year, he adds. According to Grand Master Tan, “Sharp objects such as knives and scissors are considered dangerous tools meant for inflicting harm on another living being. Using them is believed to cause conflict and bring inauspiciousness into the family.”
Hold the trim
The rules on cutting extend to personal grooming. The New Year is not the time to be trimming your tresses or your nails. Grand Master Tan says that cutting your hair is detrimental to career and wealth-related luck. The Chinese character for “hair” (发) is the same as the word for “prosperity”, he points out.
Don’t break anything
The New Year is a time to exercise care and caution: it is inauspicious to break something on the first day of Chinese New Year. The experts say that should you break something, you should quickly counter misfortune with auspicious phrases like “luo di kai hua” (落地开花) and “hua kai fu gui” (花开富贵), which implore the shattered pieces to bloom like flowers and bring abundance, or “sui sui ping an” (岁岁平安), a wish for peace, year after year.
Bank on Li Chun luck
Li Chun (立春), the beginning of spring, marks an auspicious day in the Chinese solar calendar when farmers pray for a good harvest. Depositing – or “planting” – money into your bank account is the modern version of this traditional act. This year, Li Chun falls on Monday (4 February). When depositing money into your account, Master Lim says, “it would be even more auspicious if you are able to do so during the lucky hour that your zodiac enjoys.”
Don’t rush back to work
The public holiday may only last till Wednesday, but – if it within your control – you should only go back to work or reopen your business on an auspicious day for your zodiac, says Master Lim. “A good start lays the foundation for success in the year ahead. If you start on the right note, a lucky and smooth-sailing year awaits.”