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10 Chinese New Year Do’s and Don’ts

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Chinese New Year undoubtedly marks one of the most important times of the year for everyone. This widely celebrated festival perfectly incorporates beautifully decorated surroundings (like fireworks in Chinatown) and joyous activities in New Year markets into family gatherings, dinners and appreciation for fresh new beginnings and opportunities.

However, it is also a time to remember certain rules that are specific to the Chinese and understand the underlying meanings behind what one should and should not do during this auspicious period. Bringing good health, good fortune, success and prosperity into the household plays a significant role in the celebrations and in planting a good seed for the whole year. Luckily, there are many ways in which this could be done.

It can be a little tricky to memorise all the rules to follow and taboos to avoid, especially in this day and age. At Gift Flowers Singapore, we would like to shine a light on all this aspects and develop a general guide to keep your mind at peace during Chinese New Year.

What to do and what not to do during Chinese New Year

Getting a good grasp of how to interact with other celebrators of Chinese New Year is key to enjoying the festival. Here are 10 Do’s and 10 Don’ts to save you the awkwardness during Chinese New Year family visits and to ensure that the celebrations go smoothly.

  1. Cleaning – Don’t sweep or take out the rubbish on the day of Chinese New Year. The action indicates getting rid of your good fortune. Instead, do clean the home in advance in preparation for a brand-new year.
  2. Clothes – Don’t wear black or white attire as they are traditionally associated with mourning. Refrain from wearing damaged clothes also as they are believed to bring bad luck. Do wear colourful clothing, especially red, which is considered a lucky colour. New clothes are also a must to symbolise a new start.
  3. Laundry – Don’t do your laundry on the first and second days of Chinese New Year to respect the Water God. Do your laundry any day before or after.
  4. Hair hygiene – Don’t wash your hair on the first day of Chinese New Year, as the Chinese word for hair is similar to the word for “to become wealthy”. Do wash your hair on other days to prevent draining away your wealth.
  5. Food – Don’t consume porridge or meat for breakfast as it is a bad omen; traditionally, only poor people eat such foods. Instead, do indulge yourselves in dumplings, spring rolls, tang yuan, longevity noodles, nian gao, a variety of fruit and fish. These symbolise health, wealth, happiness and togetherness.
  6. Dishes – Don’t break dishes during Chinese New Year as it connotates bad luck. Do take extra care when cleaning dishes.
  7. Use of tools – Don’t use needles, scissors or knives. This is to prevent any accidents from occurring, a symbol of another bad omen for the year. Do prepare efficiently so you do not need to use tools during the celebration.
  8. Choice of words – Don’t use unlucky words for fear they may come true. Do use Chinese New Year greetings and wish people well when you meet them.
  9. Red pocket – Don’t give lucky money in odd numbers as it is considered unlucky. Do give them in even numbers.
  10. Gifts – Be mindful of the gifts you give. Don’t give certain gifts such as clocks, sharp tools and pears due to their negative meanings in Chinese culture. Do offer stunning New Year flowers and gourmet for everyone to enjoy.
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"This was my first time ordering flowers for my mother who lives in HK and I live on the other side of the earth. There were a lot options to choose from, for reasonable price. It was so quick, smooth and convenient. My mom received the flowers right on time and it was lovely"
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