New Year, New Beginnings
A few days before the Lunar New Year begins, as a form of custom, families give their homes a thorough cleaning in the days leading up to New Year’s day. Windows are scrubbed, floors are swept, and furniture is dusted – sweeping away the bad luck of the past year and to welcome in the new. However, dusting is avoided on New Year’s day for fear that good fortune will be dusted away.
What’s more, on the first day of the Lunar New Year, many folks don’t wash their hair, shower, do laundry, clean, or take out the rubbish because they believe it symbolizes removing prosperity. The more superstitious won’t wash clothes or do any sweeping for the entire period because they believe it means they’re sweeping or washing away good luck and wealth!
New Year New Clothes
Like we would actually need a reason to buy new clothes? Here’s a fun fact: Chinese people prefer everything new for the New Year which also symbolises getting ready for a new start.
For instance purchasing shoes are off-limits for the entire first lunar month because the word 'shoes' in Cantonese sounds very similar to the word 'rough'.
Black is a big no-no, and should not be worn during the New Year as it is typically worn during funerals. The colour has been associated with death, depression and quite a lot of inauspicious things.
In saying that, white is also frowned upon, contrary to most other cultures. Similar to black, white is a mourning colour and is also typically worn at funerals. So let’s keep black and white out of your wardrobe rotation in the New Year!
Instead, wear red! The Chinese love red as it is seen as a colour of luck and prosperity. You can wear all different shades of red, from pinks to maroon. Don’t like red? Go for gold! Gold is luxe is a symbol of wealth.