The Year of the Snake will move to the Year of the Wooden Horse for the Chinese on January 31. While ringing in the New Year, there are several superstitions that are observed on this day.
Before the New Year, houses are to be swept and cleaned. They believe this will remove the bad luck from the previous year. The brooms, dustpans and other cleaning supplies are then put away for the New Year.
People are also discouraged from sweeping on the first day of New Year’s, as this could sweep away the good luck.
For anyone who washes their hair every day, they might not want to for the Chinese New Year. Many believe that washing their hair on the New Year could wash away their good luck.
Firecrackers are used to signify the beginning of the New Year. It is believed that a half-dragon, half-lion monster named “Nian” would come down from the mountains and scare the humans. When they found that the beast couldn’t stand the loud noise, they used the firecrackers to keep him away.
While people can use firecrackers, they must remember to avoid sharp objects. This stems from the belief that sharp objects resemble cutting good fortune or luck.
The use of foul language, unlucky words or saying anything awful about others is considered a taboo. Children and elders are also forbidden from telling ghost stories because they are about death, spirits and negative power.
Bright clothing, particularly red, is considered lucky and is usually worn on the New Year. Black and dark clothes are discouraged as they are generally worn at funerals.
People visiting other’s houses should remember that clocks and timepieces are generally avoided as gifts. They are akin to asking one to pass away faster and having them realize that their time on this earth is running out faster.