Happy Chinese New Year 2016!
Original post: Another World Adventures
2016 is the Year of the Monkey according to the Chinese zodiac and preparations have long been under way to celebrate the 4,714 Chinese New Year which starts today on February 8, 2016.
The celebrations are also known as the Lunar New Year and also Spring Festival which is the literal translation of the Chinese name. With spectacular visual and artistic performances and huge events planned it’s one of the biggest and most important dates in Chinese culture.
The Chinese zodiac cycle is recurring over 12 years and the monkey is the ninth of the 12 animals. Each year the animal is combined with one of the ‘Five Elements’ – fire, earth, wood, water and gold (metal). The chosen element for 2016 is fire – making 2016 the year of the fire monkey.
Why Do People Celebrate Chinese New Year?
There are lots of ancient legends and tales explaining the start of Chinese New Year celebrations but ultimately, much like New Year celebrations in the rest of the world the two main reasons for coming together to celebrate are:
- To celebrate a year of hard work, have a good rest, and relax with family
- To wish for a lucky and prosperous coming year
Chinese people believe that a good start to the year will lead to a lucky year which is why you don’t want to mess up your chances by doing anything wrong. Here are 6 major taboos of a list of 16 that the Daily Telegraph say you should avoid at all costs on the first day of Chinese New Year. Follow the link for the rest!
Chinese New Year’s Day Taboos
- Medicine: Taking medicine on the first day of the lunar year means one will get ill for a whole year.
- New Year’s breakfast: Porridge should not be eaten, because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast, and people don’t want to start the year “poor” as this is a bad omen.
- Laundry: People do not wash clothes on the first and second day, because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (水神, the Water God).
- Washing hair: Hair must not be washed on the first day of the lunar year. In the Chinese language, hair (发) has the same pronunciation and character as ‘fa’ in facai (发财), which means ’to become wealthy’. Therefore, it is seen as not a good thing to “wash one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the New Year.
- Sharp objects: The use of knives and scissors is to be avoided as any accident is thought to lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth.
- Going out: A woman may not leave her house; otherwise she will be plagued with bad luck for the entire coming year. A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents, as this is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing economic hardship for the family.
Read the full list of 16 that the Daily Telegraph has published.
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