LUNAR NEW YEAR DO'S & DON"T

DO

Set off fireworks

The more fireworks or firecrackers you set off the better.
Not only do you light up the night sky with a symphony of color, but the loud banging sounds are thought to scare off evil spirits.-CNN

Eat dumplings

Eating dumplings around the holidays is a popular tradition in northern China and there are three reasons for it.
A) They're delicious.
B) The Chinese word for them, "jiao zi," is similar to the ancient word for new replacing the old.
C) The shape of a Chinese-style dumpling resembles the pieces of gold that were used as money in ancient times. A plate full of dumplings looks like a big pile of gold, symbolizing wealth in the coming year.-CNN

Clean your home

Sweep, mop, scrub, dust, vacuum, steam -- do anything and everything to make sure your home is spick and span BEFORE the stroke of midnight on Lunar New Year eve, February 11. (See below for more on this.)
The aim here is to rid your home of any bad luck that's accumulated over the past year.
It's also advised to settle debts ahead of the New Year, credit card bills included.
The superstition is that if you start the year in the red, you'll likely end it that way too. -CNN

DON'T

Wash or cut your hair

Leave your hair as it is on the first day of the New Year.
The Chinese character for hair is the same first character in the word for prosper.
This means washing or cutting it off is seen as washing your fortune away and dramatically reduces chances of prosperity in the year ahead.
Actually, LNY fundamentalists will tell you taking a shower is also off-limits on the first day for the same reason.
Dry shampoo and dusting powder will come in handy.-CNN

Clean post-New Year

Make sure you clean up and throw out your trash BEFORE midnight.
Otherwise you're going to have to wait till the second day of the new lunar year.
Cleaning of any kind on the first day is strictly forbidden.
Don't even wash the dishes.
You cleaned your home to rid it of any bad luck before the New Year -- now you want to be sure not to wipe, sweep or wash away any of the good luck that arrived at the stroke of midnight. -CNN

Buy books

Avid readers will want to stock up on their books and magazines before the Lunar New Year, because it's bad luck to buy them during the 15-day Spring Festival.
The Chinese word for "book" (shū) sounds exactly the same as the word for "lose" -- so buying a book right after ringing in the New Year is considered an invitation for bad luck.
Also, avoid giving books as gifts to anyone, because it'd be like wishing bad luck upon them. -CNN

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