Chinese New Year Traditions - What not to do

Chinese New Year Traditions – What Not To Do on Lunar New Year First Day

In our Chinese tradition and culture, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts during the period of Lunar New Year. You might have heard it from your parents or the elders before but have forgetten and here you are – 15 Taboos for Lunar New Year first day. There is always a phrase that goes “To be safe than to be sorry”, so believe it or not, it is still up to you! A good guide for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

1. Married women cannot go back to their own parent’s house

It is believed that if a married woman who return to her own parents on the first day, she will cause her parents to beome poor, that is why, they can only go back on the subsequent days instead. But you can always think in a positive way that the wife has to give a helping hand to his husband side to serve and entertain visitors during the first day.

chinese new year traditions


2. Do not have congee, porridge, meat or medicine for breakfast

In the past, only the poor family eat porridge in the morning, so you must eat dried rice instead to attract wealth for the year. The first day morning of the lunar year is known a “萬神節” which is believed that all the gods are out for the New Year, that is why we must eat vegetarian to respect the elder. In additional, if you don’t have any serious illness, refrain from eating medicine or any tonics.

3. Refrain from waking people up by calling full name

If you wake the person up in full name, it imply to ask the person to be always in a hurry to do things for the full year. 

4. Do not pay new year visit to people who are still sleeping

Do not pay visit to people who are still in their dreams as it might indicate that the party that you called will be jinxed to be in the sick bed for a year. So just wait for them to wake up!

chinese tradition medicine

5. Do not consume medicine

If you eat medicine in Day 1, you will be jinxed to eat medicine for the whole year and sickness cannot be cured.

6. Do not use knife or scissors

It is believed that if you use these sharp objects, you will likely to have gossip and argument for the year.

7. Do not touch knit and needle

It is believed that if you are pregnant and touch needle in day 1, your born baby will have eyes as small as a needle.

8. Do not use axe to chop wood (not applicable to Singapore context)

Firewood in Chinese is 柴, same sound as 財 wealth, so if you chop the firewood, it means splitting your wealth into half and never come back.

9. Do not loan money to people

If you lend money to people on the first day of lunar new year, it indicate that the wealth cannot be accumulate for the year.

10. Do not break cutlery like plate, bowl, wine vase or etc.

It is inauspicious to break home cutlery but if you accidentally broke it, just say 「碎碎(岁岁)平安」and throw it away after Day 5.

11. Do not sleep during daytime

If you sleep in the day time during the chinese new year period, it means that you will be very lazy and lethagic for the rest of the year. It also show a sense of disrespect because there will be a lot of visitors and you should be entertaining them instead.

12. Refrain from throwing away dirty water, rubbish and sweeping the floor.

If you do the above actions during the new year, it is easy to sweep away your wealth too.

13. Do not take things out from your own pocket

If you don this, it imply that your wealth will be taken from others for the year.

14. Do not chase after debtor during the new year (Chase it before it instead!)

This will bring bad luck to you for the whole year.

15. Do not wash your clothes

There is a water god and the birthday of the god is Day 1 and 2 so refrain from washing.

After reading these taboos, you might find it untrue or to the extent of absolute absurd but it is always the same phase “To be safe than to be sorry”. It is still up to the individual to believe or not. How about you?

Do you still follow these Chinese New Year Traditions?




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Traditions & CultureChinese New Year Traditions What NOT to Do for The First Day of Lunar New Year