We could all do with a little extra luck, but what kind of luck will you be bringing yourself this Lunar New Year day?
This is the kind of luck you DON'T want following you around for the rest of the year. There are ways to make sure you don't attract any bad luck, but it's going to take some work.
No porridge for you!
Porridge is considered “poor people” food, so eating it at the start of the Lunar New Year is a bad idea! It’s basically saying you want to be a poor person.
Instead, you should eat rice. Because you want to make it rain!
(I know this isn't a picture of someone making it rain, it's just a picture of Rain.... No apologies).
No washing your hair
The word 'hair' is close to the word ‘luck’ in the Chinese language so if you wash your hair you’re washing all your luck away! Whether it’s Korean, Vietnamese or Chinese Lunar New Year, all of them consider it bad luck to wash your hair on the first day of the Lunar New Year. Luckily, we now have dry shampoo.
Kris Wu, that means you can't wash the red out just yet XD
While it's encouraged to clean your place BEFORE Lunar New Year, on the day of the new year, if you sweep in your house it’s basically sweeping all the luck away. Conversely, cleaning is good leading up to the day because you are sweeping away your bad luck from the year before.
No, Sohyun! STOP!
The first two days of the Chinese Lunar New Year are the God of Water's birthday. Nobody wants to have to do work on their birthday. Don’t make the God of Water help you with your washing on his birthday.
(I'm not saying the God of Water is like Aquarius from Fairy Tail... But let's err on the side of caution, just in case).
Superstition has it that if you brew medicine (or take it) on New Year's day, that you're setting yourself up for a year of ill health.
No wearing raggedy clothes
It doesn’t matter if it’s the height of fashion, or you saw them wearing it in a VIXX Music Video! It's bad luck.
Don't try to mend your clothes either because using sharp objects, like scissors, can symbolise cutting away your good luck. It's not uncommon for Chinese to wear brand new clothing from head-to-toe on Lunar New Year day, as a symbolic gesture for starting afresh. Shopping, anyone?
Now that you've worked out all the things you've got to not do, in order to keep the bad luck away, here's what you need to do to bring all that good luck in!
Lady in REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!
Whether you Cosplay as Char Aznable or only go so far as wearing red socks, it doesn’t matter.
As long as you’re wearing red, you’ll get ahead. (I made that up, I should be a rapper)!
Red is considered a lucky colour for Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean Lunar New Year. Plus, you look fabulous in it. So wear it!
Don't forget to deck out your house too. Red and gold banners with good luck characters on them go a long way!
We love red, especially when they come in the form of envelopes with money in it from older family members!
While the Lunar New Year celebrations aren’t as big in Japan anymore (they adopted the Gregorian calendar back in the 70s), it is traditional to decorate your house with lucky symbols include the maneki neko (lucky cat).
(Not all lucky cats can do this...I wish they could)
BUT, in Vietnam, it's actually bad luck if a cat enters your house on Lunar New Year day because the noise that cats make sound like "Ngheo" which means "poverty" in Vietnamese. WOW.
Visit friends and family
This is more of a tradition than a way to bring good luck, but it’s considered a very important part of celebrating the Lunar Year across the board.
And why not?
For Japanese New Year, you eat soba noodles. But there are rules, I tell you, RULES! No cutting the noodles, no biting them either! Perfect your slurping technique because the long noodles are meant to represent your longevity. You should give yourself longevity, everyone loves longevity.
Then there’s all the ways you can eat rice.
Mochi - A glutinous rice cake from Japan, that involves pounding the rice and coating it in sugar and soy flour. (Please be careful when eating it, chew carefully!). For the New Year, mochi is turned into a kagami mochi. It’s meant to be good luck, plus after a few days you’re allowed to eat the decorations. (Can’t do THAT with a Christmas bauble).
Tteokguk - A soup of rice cake from Korea. When you eat it, it symbolises getting a year older. It’s also meant to bring prosperity.
Niangao - Sticky, glutinous rice cake. This just sounds divine. But on top of being delicious, this Chinese rice wonderfulness is also meant to stop the Kitchen God from being a telltale when he reports back to the Jade Emperor (It sticks to the top of his mouth so he can't speak).
In the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, red sticky rice is prepared and eaten to bring good fortune.
In summary, on Lunar New Year day....
Don't wash your hair, your house or your clothes.
Don't wear old garments.
DO eat rice or noodles, preferably in the company of loved ones.
DO wear red (that includes your household items).