February 9th, 2005


Happy New Year's!

A fine lady in a forum I frequent posted this earlier today; I thought it was kinda cool so check it out. Oh, and I know a few of you guys grew up with this much more than I did, so if you can add to these lists, please do! I think the New Year's superstitions are cool.


Things to do
- Greet others with "Kung Hei Fat Choi" which means "Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth". (This is one of like two Chinese phrases I know!)
- Give two Lai Sees to each child as happiness comes in twos. This is your way of passing good luck to the next generation. (My grandmother used to do this, but now she only gives us one. I think it's because it used to be one from her and one from Goong Goong, and he's no longer with us so yeah. Duh.)
- Business owners also give Lai See to employees and associates. (Yeah, I WISH they'd do that.)
- Wear new clothes - preferably in red for luck. (Yeah, I do that.)

Things to avoid
- No housework or cooking is allowed for the first two days of the New Year. Sweeping and cutting are especially taboo, because they represent the sweeping away or severing of good luck. (Oh, I'm totally down with that. But our house is a mess so Mom'll probably make us clean anyway.)
- Don't wash your hair on the first and last day of the New Year. (Yeah, right. I gotta wash my hair man, it's gross.)
- Don't greet people who are in mourning. (That'd be like...everybody, man. Technically I'm still in mourning for Goong Goong - I think it's one year for grandparents? I think the only colors you can wear are blue, white, and black. Obviously I haven't been following that tradition. Probably ought to tho'.)
- Don't drop your chopsticks. (Now that they've said it, I will.)
- Don't say words related to sickness and death. (Easy enough.)
- Don't borrow or lend money. (Again, easy enough.)
- Avoid arguing and using negative language. (I am not good with the positive, but I'll try. Does the previous sentence count?)
- Don't slaughter poultry or livestock to avoid any association with death. (So can I still buy chicken breasts at market, as long as I don't kill it? Or is this supposed to mean I'm vegan for a few days?)
- Avoid breaking anything as it is indicative of bad luck ahead - if you do, you'll have to say "lok day hoi fa, fu gwei wing wah" which means when you drop something it breaks into pieces like a flower blossoming bringing wealth and prosperity or "peace for all time" to make sure the year is a lucky one. (Chinese speakers, how do you pronounce that? Because I'm sure I'll be breaking something.)

I don't take these things too seriously, but I do think they're neat. So Happy Year of the Rooster, everybody!
And because I'm overly fond of quizzes...

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