As Chinese New Year 2024 approaches, I’m sure you might have seen stores and grocery shops putting up decorations or even playing festive tunes. Some hotels even have activities lined up to gear up for the Chinese New Year mood.
We’ve jumped on the bandwagon with a list of advisable do’s and don’ts for when you do your Chinese New Year visiting.
Who knows, maybe with the help of this list, you will be able to get a little more ang paos this CNY!
1. DO: Say more phrases to elders in greeting
When it comes to Chinese New Year greetings, it is tradition to greet elders, family members, and whoever you meet with well wishes.
One of the popular phrases used throughout bigger regions like China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong that most are familiar with is 恭喜发财 (gong xi fa cai or gong hei fatt choy in Cantonese), and 新年快乐 (xin nian kuai le).
As long as you have at least these two in your greetings handbook, you’re more than ready to greet people and get more ang paos this CNY in the process!
DON’T: Be antisocial
Family gatherings are all about catching up with loved ones, and this rings even more true in important traditional festivities like CNY.
Always remember, there will always be more opportunities to earn more ang paos this CNY if you go out there and wish others during this period!
2. DO: Put on your new clothes for CNY and dress up
It is a tradition to dress your best during the CNY period, especially on the first and second day as a symbol of the fresh start for the Lunar New Year and a herald for good fortunes for the new year.
Looking good has also turned into one of the more exciting activities during CNY and it’s an opportunity for people to show off their latest fashion haul, dressing their best for visiting family and friends.
If you think about it, this is also an opportunity for you to ‘wow’ and impress your elders and who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to earn more CNY ang paos!
Once you’re all dolled up and shining, what better way to top it all off than with an equally bright smile?
I don’t know about you but Colgate has remained one of my favourites to produce a bright smile and almost a staple in my household! Speaking of, I do need to get more since I’ve been running low lately, and I’m not going to gatekeep this special promotion that they currently have.
Each purchase of the 3x Colgate Total Toothpaste 150g banded in a pack gives you a limited edition Quby mug and what’s more, you can collect all four designs of the Quby mugs and they’re insanely adorable!
If you’re a lazy shopper like me and prefer to purchase from the comforts of home with Fairprice Online, there is even a free Tefal Matcha Wok (worth S$129) up for grabs with S$88 spent on participating Colgate-Palmolive brands.
Do take note that this is only available from 23 January to 5 February 2024 though, so make sure to grab yours!
At least from now until 29 February 2024, I’ll be able to stock up on Colgate toothpaste at my nearest Fairprice, Giant, Cold Storage, & Sheng Siong, which means brighter smiles, more confidence in my outfit, and more ang paos this CNY to collect!
DON’T: Dress down or wear black and white clothing
According to tradition, wearing black and white clothing is typically frowned upon especially on the first day of the new year because it is associated with mourning.
Besides, who wants to get in the bad books of the people who are going to give you ang paos? I don’t know about you, but definitely not me!
3. DO: Spring clean before Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year spring cleaning tradition has found itself rooted in centuries of Chinese culture. Many have believed that this helps to ‘sweep’ away bad luck from the previous year and prepare for a fresh start in the new year.
Usually, most people would start spring cleaning a week before the first day of Chinese New Year so that their home would be ready in time. So set some time aside to tidy your room, scrub your floors, and do whatever you need for spring cleaning!
DON’T: Sweep the floor on Chinese New Year’s first day
There are many taboos associated with Chinese New Year and one of them is to not sweep the floor or take the rubbish out on the first day of the new year. In ancient tradition, it is believed that sweeping the floor is akin to carrying your fortune out for the rest of the year.
Between spending time with family and hosting visits, there probably won’t be that much time to actually sweep the floor so be rest assured. Perhaps a safe bet would be to not touch any cleaning equipment at all!
4. DO: Give away mandarin oranges
You might know or have seen people buying and giving mandarin oranges during the Chinese New Year period and that is because there is a significant culture attached to that.
The act of gifting mandarin oranges during celebration symbolises wishing someone happiness and prosperity, and is seen as giving them “wealth”.
I don’t know about you but personally, I love receiving mandarin oranges not only for that reason but also because they somehow taste sweeter during this period as compared to others!
Maybe because I’m also getting ang paos for CNY alongside them, who knows?
DON’T: Speak about inauspicious things
This might sound like a no-brainer, but since Chinese New Year is a celebration about ushering in the new year with good vibes, then it sounds only natural to not speak about inauspicious things.
Phrases related to ill-luck or just cursing in general should be avoided. In this time of festivities, I gather you would probably be too busy catching up with family members and entertaining visitors to think about anything else so that’s a good sign.
5. DO: Enjoy a festive feast
In many cultures of the world, nothing connects family and loved ones more than bonding over a shared meal together.
Similarly, it is an important tradition to gather around for the reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. One of the most important family meals of the year is yu sheng — a raw fish salad — where everyone tosses it together to usher in prosperity, abundance, and vigour.
My favourite ingredient in yu sheng is always the raw fish but I have to admit, when everything is eaten together it is equally just as delicious!
DON’T: Eat porridge for breakfast
This might also sound a little strange for those who are not familiar with the traditions behind it, but porridge is considered an inappropriate food to be served as the first meal of Chinese New Year.
In ancient China, the less fortunate could only eat porridge and so the superstition of consuming porridge during breakfast is considered a bad start to the new year.
Of course, given how much food there will be during Chinese New Year, you would probably be spoilt for choices.
And there you have it, here are some of the common five do’s and don’ts that you might encounter during Chinese New Year.
Which one of these are you familiar with?
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